Manipur ethnic gulf widens, big relocation on: Security officials | India News – Times of India

Manipur ethnic gulf widens, big relocation on: Security officials | India News – Times of India

GUWAHATI: The nearly month-long ethnic conflict in Manipur has polarised the majority Meitei and the tribal Kuki communities to the extent that they appear irreconcilable, accentuated by a fresh outbreak of violence that could get worse unless the Centre acts fast and decisively to end it, top sources in the security establishment said Monday as Union home minister Amit Shah began a four-day visit.

01:52

Manipur: Ahead of Amit Shah’s visit fresh violence breaks out, 40 Kuki militants killed

The two communities had clashed previously over territory and identity, but the violence since May 3 has been the worst in their tumultuous history, leaving over 100 people dead and scores wounded. While both sides say they want the hostilities to end, the underlying message is that they would rather not live together. “Relocation is happening in hordes – most Kukis have fled to areas where they are in a majority while Meitei people have returned from Kuki areas like Churachandpur to the Imphal valley,” a senior security official said. “Even government officials are relocating in the same pattern.”
Army visiting villages, talking to both sides but no meeting ground yet’
The situation outwardly looks like it is being brought under control, but inside it is extremely volatile. The breakdown of trust between the Meitei community of the valley and the Kuki tribe that inhabits the hills is total,” the official said.

Manipur ethnic gulf widens, big relocation on: Security officials | India News – Times of India

03:55

Fresh Violence in Manipur: “We have taken strict action. Till now 40 terrorists eliminated,” says Manipur CM

A group of 10 Kuki-Zomi MLAs of BJP-led coalition, two of them ministers, has already petitioned Shah for a separate administration for areas inhabited by the tribe.
Kukis blame the state government and chief minister N Biren Singh for the ongoing violence, alleging that police were siding with perpetrators of the attacks on them. The Meitei accuse Kuki militant outfits that are in ceasefire with the Centre and the state government of attacks on them and their properties.
“This instability will remain unless the Centre takes some concrete steps. We are trying to contain unrest with the maximum possible effort, but we possibly cannot deploy soldiers at every location. Army commanders are visiting villages and talking to civil society organisations of both communities, although there is no meeting ground at this moment,” another top source in the security set-up said.

Manipur ethnic gulf widens, big relocation on: Security officials | India News – Times of India

01:57

’40 terrorists killed by armed forces’; fresh clashes break out in Manipur

Both sides have suffered in equal measure when it comes to arson targeted at villages, but the number of dead could be higher on the Kuki side, sources said. A large number of bodies lying in morgues are still to be identified.
The toll last updated by the state government on May 14 stood at 73. Since then, many more have been killed. On Sunday, the CM said 33 militants had been killed by security forces in 48 hours.
Manipur has a history of ethnic unrest, starting with Naga-Kuki clashes in 1990s in which thousands lost their lives. In 1993, the state battled violence between the Hindu Meitei and the Muslim Meitei (Pangals).
Kukis then clashed with the Paites in 1997-98. The Meitei-Naga divide since 2001 over the insurgent NSCN(IM)’s demand for a “greater Nagalim”, entailing integration of Naga-inhabited areas of Manipur with Nagaland and other northeastern neighbours, remains a bone of contention.

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