Guwahati 16 May: A 25-year-old man named Pauginmuan, who became a victim of racial unrest in Manipur, is currently undergoing medical treatment at a public hospital in Mizoram. Pauginmuan was transported from Churachandpur district to Aizawl Civil Hospital on May 14 to receive better care for his severe injuries.
According to authorities, Pauginmuan sustained a shocking 17 gunshot wounds during a heated altercation on May 3 in a small town. The bullets, fired from a locally made firearm, struck him in the neck and back. While four bullets were successfully removed at Churachandpur district hospital, the complexity of the remaining bullets, which were lodged near vital areas like the spinal cord and arterial veins, necessitated his transfer to Aizawl. An attempt to extract these remaining bullets is scheduled for Monday.
On the day of the incident, following the Tribal Solidarity March, Pauginmuan, a member of the Chin-Kuki-Mizo tribe, claimed that he and his companions were defending their community when they were attacked by armed assailants. The march had been organized in the hill areas of Manipur as a protest against the Meitei community’s pursuit of Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.
The fallout from the May 3 clashes in Manipur was devastating, resulting in widespread ethnic violence. Tragically, the violence claimed the lives of at least 73 individuals, left 231 injured, and led to the destruction of approximately 1,700 homes, including places of worship. Prior to the outbreak of violence, there had been ongoing protests regarding the displacement of the Kuki people from the reserve forest region.
In terms of population composition, the majority of Manipur’s populace, accounting for around 53%, consists of Meiteis who reside in the Imphal Valley. The hilly regions are home to Naga and Kuki tribal members, comprising roughly 40% of the population.