Fresh violence breaks out in conflict-torn India state of Manipur

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Fresh violent incidents broke out in Manipur, India on Friday. The violence escalated an already-tense ethnic conflict. Violence broke out in Pallel, Tengnoupal District on September 8, and lasted for several hours. Several people were killed and others injured. Kukis, and Meiteis – the two communities at war in Manipur – have each blamed the other for the attack. According to different sources, between one and two people died and 40 to fifty people, including women, were injured. The security personnel used physical force in order to disperse the crowd. Security personnel and armed people got into a shootout in the nearby village Molnoi. Armed criminals attempted to burn down the village, and commit acts of mayhem. As the news of the gunfight spread among the Meitei, they gathered in large numbers and marched to the location of the conflict. They also tried to breach the security barriers. When security forces troops tried to disperse them to prevent the situation from getting worse, locals were hurt in the process.

Tension was palpable in the area, with security forces firing tear gas shells to bring the situation under control, including personnel from the Rapid Action Force (RAF), the Assam Rifles and Manipur Police . A day before the protest, a full curfew had been imposed in all the five valley districts of Manipur as a preventive measure, according to various local media outlets.

Since the outbreak of ethnic violence over a March Manipur High Court order directing the inclusion of the Hindu majority Meitei community in the list of Scheduled Tribes, the rule of law situation in Manipur has steadily deteriorated. Kuki and Naga communities began fierce protests in response to the High Court decision. Violence has continued to erupt in the state. As a result, thousands of people were internally displaced and more than 180 people died.