India imposed a curfew in the capital and several areas of the restive state of Manipur on Thursday, September 28, 2023, after a number of students were injured in violence following protests against the alleged kidnapping and murder of two students, authorities said.
Ethnic violence has plunged the northeastern states bordering Myanmar into what many security experts describe as an intense civil war fighting over land, jobs and political influence between the country’s two largest local groups.
“An indefinite curfew should be imposed in Imphal and in some other districts,” L. Kailun, a senior police official based in the state capital, told Reuters .
More than 80 students were injured in Wednesday’s clashes, said a police official who did not want to be named.
He added that the situation was “very tense” after armed mobs vandalized the ruling political party’s offices and threw Molotov cocktails at two police locations.
Mobile internet services have been suspended in the state for five days, officials said.
Since violence first erupted on May 3, more than 180 people have been killed and more than 50,000 people fled their homes in Manipur.
More than half of the state’s population of 3.2 million belongs to the Meitei community, while the Kuki community, numbering about 43%, lives mostly in the hills.
Protests flared again over the alleged kidnapping and murder of two Meitei community students who disappeared in July, after their bodies were discovered this week. The news went viral, reigniting ethnic tensions.
The state’s Chief Minister, N. Biren Singh, who is the leader of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party , condemned the alleged murder, and promised maximum punishment for the perpetrators.
Family members of students and Meitei leaders accused Kuki militants of responsibility for the latest killings, and criticized authorities for failing to end the violence.
A spokesperson for civil society group Kuki said they could not comment on the latest killings.
Leaders of the opposition Congress party accused Modi’s government of failing to control violence in a state ruled by his nationalist party.
Source : Tempo.co