Villagers retaliate by burning down abandoned Kuki militant camp after UKLF arson attack destroys homes, including MLA’s residence, in Manipur’s Serou.
The tense situation in Manipur persists as violent protests continue to rock the region. (Photo: India Today)
Villagers in Sugnu, located in Kakching district of Manipur, retaliated by setting ablaze an abandoned camp used by militants from the United Kuki Liberation Front (UKLF). The attack took place after a recent peace accord between the militants and the government. Police officials confirmed the incident on Monday.
This response came after the militants burned down approximately 100 abandoned houses, including the residence of Sugnu Congress MLA K Ranjit, in Serou, Kakching district, on Saturday midnight.
After the arson attack on Saturday night, a continuous exchange of fire took place between the militants and security forces for nearly 48 hours, as reported by the police.
Earlier, a joint operation involving state police, India Reserve Battalion, Border Security Force, and local volunteers engaged in a gun battle with the militants at the Nazareth camp on Sunday.
The militants eventually fled their camp, leading the villagers to set it on fire on Sunday night. The camp had served as a training facility for newly recruited Kuki militants.
Over the past month, ethnic violence in Manipur has resulted in the loss of 98 lives and left 310 people injured. Currently, 37,450 individuals have sought refuge in 272 relief camps.
The clashes initially began on May 3, triggered by a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ organized in the hill districts. The march was a protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.
The Meiteis, comprising 53 percent of the population and residing in the Imphal Valley, clashed with the Nagas and Kukis, who make up 40 percent of the population and inhabit the hill districts.
To restore peace, approximately 10,000 personnel from the Army and Assam Rifles have been deployed across the state.