The death toll in the recent violence that shook India's northeastern state of Manipur has risen to 71, officials said Saturday.
"Three public works department (PWD) laborers were also found dead in a vehicle in a 300-metre-deep trench in Churachandpur area. However, whether they met with an accident or got killed has to be probed," Kuldeep Singh, security advisor of the Manipur government told media.
Scheduled tribes in India are officially designated as disadvantaged socio-economic groups. They are given reservations in education and jobs with the aim to improve their lives.
Thousands of people took part in the rally, during which violence broke out between tribals and non-tribals.
Schools, houses, churches, vehicles and public properties were set ablaze by protesting mobs in the state. Photographs and video footage captured during violence showed buildings set on fire, thick black smoke emanating from the streets and mobs on roads.
According to officials, more than 230 people were injured and about 1,700 houses were burnt down during the violence in the state.
The authorities imposed a curfew to contain the violence. Over 100 columns of army and paramilitary forces were deployed in the state to restore peace.