Friday, 2 June, 2023

India's Manipur violence death toll rises to 71

India's Manipur violence death toll rises to 71

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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.

Large-scale violence broke out in the state earlier this month during a tribal protest over the inclusion of the non-tribal Meiteis community for a scheduled tribe status. The call for protest was given by the All Tribal Student Union Manipur (ATSUM).

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.

The government forces carried out flag marches, area domination and rescue operations to shift thousands of vulnerable people to army camps and temporary government accommodations.