Violence erupted between unidentified armed groups and “village defence volunteers” in Manipur’s Heirok and near Pallel towns today. According to reports from NDTV, the conflict, marked by exchanges of gunfire, has intensified since Thursday evening.

The situation turned dire when a village defence volunteer in Heirok sustained injuries in the crossfire. In response, villagers and volunteers rallied, ascending a nearby hill from where the gunfire originated. In retaliation, they succeeded in repelling the assailants, sources cited by NDTV revealed. However, the confrontation left another volunteer wounded.

A combined unit of the security forces including Manipur Police commandos came to the area to take control of the situation.

Meanwhile, in a separate incident near Pallel, a sawmill fell victim to arson, allegedly perpetrated by a group of individuals. Three suspects were apprehended during a subsequent combing operation, with law enforcement seizing firearms and ammunition from them.

Following today’s incidents, it is reported that there is tension near Kakching, and Tengnoupal.

The region has been fraught with ethnic clashes between the Kuki-Zo tribes, predominant in the hills of southern Manipur, and the Meiteis, who constitute a majority in the valley. Stemming from deep-rooted disagreements over land allocation, resource distribution, affirmative action policies, and political representation, the clashes have already claimed over 220 lives and displaced thousands since 3 May 2023.

MTNews Desk

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