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Man braving 17 bullets in Manipur clash hospitalised in Mizoram

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AIZAWL, May 15 (PTI): A 25-year-old man who took 17 bullets during ethnic clashes in Manipur is currently undergoing treatment at a government hospital in neighbouring +, an official said on Monday.

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The victim, identified as Pauginmuan, was brought to Aizawl Civil Hospital from Churachandpur district in the neighbouring state for better medical facilities on Sunday.

He took at least 17 bullets fired from a locally made gun when a violent clash occurred at a village on May 3, the official said.

The bullets hit him on the back and neck. Four of these, however, were removed in the Churachandpur district hospital.

Pauginmuan was taken to Aizawl as doctors in Churachandpur said they did not have the required equipment to extract the bullets embedded close to the spinal cord and vascular veins, he said.

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Efforts are being made to extricate the bullets on Monday, the official said.

PTI talked to the victim before he was shifted to the operation theatre during the day.

Pauginmuan, who belonged to the Chin-Kuki-Mizo tribe, claimed that he and his friends were protecting their village when some armed miscreants attacked them after the Tribal Solidarity March’ ended on May 3.

While two of his friends were killed in the attack, he got injured, Pauginmuan claimed.

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Clashes broke out in Manipur after the ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the hill districts on May 3 to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.

At least 73 people were killed, 231 injured and 1,700 houses, including religious places, burnt in the ethnic violence.

The violence was preceded by tension over the eviction of Kuki villagers from reserve forest land, which had led to a series of smaller agitations.

Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur’s population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley. Tribals — Nagas and Kukis — constitute another 40 per cent of the population and reside in the hill districts.

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