IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

9 killed in India’s northeast as toll from ethnic violence grows

At least 80 people have been killed and more than 40,000 have been displaced in the last month in the state of Manipur, which shares a border with Myanmar.
Ongoing ethnic violence in India's northeastern Manipur state.
Indian soldiers patrol past destroyed homes while searching for illegal weapons in Waroching village in the state of Manipur on June 3.AFP - Getty Images
/ Source: Reuters

GUWAHATI, India — At least nine people have been killed in the latest clashes between members of rival ethnic groups in India’s northeastern state of Manipur, police said on Wednesday, as security forces pressed on with a hunt for illegal weapons.

Violence between members of the Kuki ethnic group, who mostly live in the hills, and Meiteis, the dominant community in the low lands, erupted on May 3, set off by resentment over economic benefits and quotas in government jobs and education reserved for hill people.

At least 80 people have been killed and more than 40,000 have been displaced in the state on the Myanmar border that is governed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party.

K Shivakanta Singh, a senior police official in the state capital of Imphal, told reporters that a gun battle between rival factions erupted on Tuesday and went on for hours.

“We have reports of at least nine deaths and 10 injured so far,” Singh said. “The situation remains volatile.”

Fresh violence erupted in India’s remote northeast with rival ethnic groups firing at each other, leaving at least nine dead and some injured, officials said on Wednesday.
A member of the Kuki tribe cries May 29 during a demonstration in New Delhi against ethnic violence in the state of Manipur. Manish Swarup / AP

Federal security force reinforcements have been sent to the state and they have been searching for illegal weapons.

Civil society organizations from the Meitei and Kuki communities have refused to join a peace committee set up by the federal government.

On May 3, members of the hill tribes including Kuki began to protest the possible extension of their benefits to the dominant Meiteis.

Meiteis account for half of Manipur’s population and extending limited affirmative action quotas to them would mean they would get a share in education and government jobs reserved for Kukis and others.

Manipur shares a nearly 250-mile border with Myanmar and a coup there in 2021 pushed thousands of refugees into the Indian state.

Kukis share ethnic lineage with Myanmar’s Chin community and Meiteis feared they would be outnumbered by the arrival of the refugees.