Published By: Pragati Pal
Last Updated: June 05, 2023, 11:39 IST
Irate villagers set ablaze an abandoned camp at Sugnu in Manipur’s Kakching district, where militants from the United Kuki Liberation Front(UKLF) were staying after signing a peace accord with the government, police said on Monday. The villagers were venting their anger after militants burnt down at least 100 abandoned houses including the residence of Sugnu Congress MLA K Ranjit at Serou in Kakching district on Saturday midnight.
There had been an almost round-the-clock exchange of fire between militants and security forces for the last two days, the police said. On Sunday before the arson attack, combined forces of state police including the India Reserve Battalion, and Border Security Force along with village volunteers had fought a gun battle with militants at the Nazareth camp which led to the militants fleeing their camp.
The villagers later torched the camp on Sunday night which also has training facilities for newly recruited Kuki militants. A fierce exchange of fire was also reported from Phayeng in Imphal West district on Sunday even as Kuki militants set a sawmill on fire.
In another development, unknown persons torched a few houses at Langol in Imphal West district on Sunday, police said. At least 98 people lost their lives and 310 others were injured in the ethnic violence in Manipur that broke out a month ago.
A total of 37,450 people are currently sheltered in 272 relief camps. Clashes first broke out on May 3 after a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.
Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur’s population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley. Tribals Nagas and Kukis constitute another 40 per cent of the population and reside in the hill districts. Around 10,000 Army and Assam Rifles personnel have been deployed in the state to bring back peace.
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)