Fresh Violence in Manipur : 2 Dead, several injured in protest against sacking of 'selfie' cop


Friday, 16 February 2024 (15:46 IST)
At least two people were killed and another dozens injured in India's northeastern state of Manipur after security forces opened fire in response to what they describe as mob violence, late on Thursday.
Authorities have suspended mobile internet services in the Churachandpur district for the next five days.
The incident comes amid ongoing violence between the tribal Kuki community and the majority Meitei community since May 2023. The two groups are divided by religion, but the latest clash is also fueled by economic benefits and cultural differences. Thousands remain displaced in relief camps, and over 200 have died.
Churachandpur, home to the Kuki community, was among the first areas in the state to witness ethnic clashes when violence first erupted last year. 
What do we know about the incident?
An angry mob of up to 400 people stormed a government compound in the province, police said. The site houses the offices of the police chief as well as of the district administration. The protesters were demanding the reinstatement of a suspended officer who took a selfie with a militia group.
The officer in question is said to belong to the tribal Kuki community, local media outlets reported.
"They climbed the gates and scaled the walls of the complex. Several vehicles were burnt, and later at night, the official residence of the deputy commissioner was torched," a senior police official told Reuters news agency.
Security forces responded to the mob "by firing tear gas shells to control the situation," the Manipur Police posted on X, formerly Twitter.  
They lobbed tear gas at first in an attempt to disperse the mob and then "resorted to shooting," the official said, requesting anonymity.
Ginza Vualzong, a spokesperson for the state's Indigenous Tribal Leaders Forum, told AFP news agency that three people had died, and another 25 people were seriously injured. "There is total shutdown in the area so there is no movement," he added.
Reuters meanwhile reported that two people had been killed and 25 were injured.
The forum has accused district police chief Shivanand Surve, who issued the suspension order, of discrimination and warned him to leave Churachandpur within 24 hours.

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