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Death Toll Rises To 3 In Manipur Violence, 1 More Dead

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Imphal, Sep 9: The toll in the violence that broke out at Pallel in Manipur’s Tengnoupal district rose to three with a 37-year-old man succumbing to his injuries while undergoing treatment at a hospital.

The man sustained bullet wounds on his head during the crossfire between security forces and armed miscreants, officials said.

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He died on Friday night while undergoing treatment at the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) in Imphal.

Earlier, two persons were killed and 50 others including an Army major, were injured when hundreds of people from the majority community attempted to storm tribal villages, officials said.

On Friday morning, a gunfight erupted at Molnoi village near Pallel between security forces and armed persons who attempted to arson and indulge in violence in the village.

As the news of the gunfight spread, large groups of Meitei community members, including Meira Paibis and Arambai Tenggol militiamen dressed in commando uniforms, attempted to break through security check posts and move towards Pallel.

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Security forces personnel attempted to stop the mob to ensure peace and stability in Pallel, where the situation had been tense for a few days.

Being blocked by the forces, some armed persons who were dressed in police uniforms and part of the mob opened fire, resulting in gunshot injuries to an Army major. The officer was evacuated to a military hospital in Leimakhong by helicopter. Three other police personnel were also injured in the incident.

In a calibrated response, the forces used minimum force to disperse the mob, officials said.

More than 45 women were injured after security forces personnel lobbed teargas shells to defuse the situation, officials said.

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The Friday morning gunfight led to the death of a person, officials said.

Also, a 48-year-old man was killed in the crossfire, officials said.

In the meantime, a contingent of Rapid Action Force personnel heading to Pallel from Imphal to contain the mob was blocked by locals, including Meira Paibis, at Thoubal.

This comes two days after thousands of protesters gathered at Phougakchao Ikhai in Bishnupur district on Wednesday and tried to break through army barricades.

Though they were claiming that they wanted to reach their deserted houses in Torbung, sources within the security establishment alleged that the mob wanted to ransack the houses of tribals besides attacking them.

A day before the protest, a full curfew had been clamped in all the five valley districts of Manipur as a preventive measure.

More than 160 people have been killed and several hundred injured since ethnic violence broke out in Manipur on May 3, when a “Tribal Solidarity March” was organised in the hill districts to protest against the majority Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe status.

Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur’s population and live mostly in the Imphal valley, while tribals, including Nagas and Kukis, constitute 40 per cent and reside mostly in the hill districts. (PTI)


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