In a tragic turn of events following a 40-day period of relative calm, violent clashes erupted in Manipur on Saturday morning, resulting in the death of two individuals. According to a report by the Indian Express, the incident occurred at the border of the Meitei-majority Imphal East district and the Kuki-Zomi majority Kangpokpi district.

The deceased have been identified as 23-year-old Kamminlal Lupheng and 22-year-old Kamlengsat Lunkim, both residents of Kangpokpi, as confirmed by Kuki-Zomi organizations. However, local authorities have yet to locate their bodies. A senior police officer confirmed that gunfire was exchanged in the Imphal East–Kangpokpi area.

Disturbing videos purportedly capturing the violence on Saturday morning have been widely circulated. These videos depict brutal scenes of bodies being stamped on and dragged.

Sources indicate that heavy cross-firing occurred between two armed groups around 8 am in an area under the jurisdiction of the Maphoudam police station in Imphal East district. This area is located at the intersection of Imphal East, Kangpokpi, and Naga-majority Ukhrul districts.

In response to the killings, the Committee of Tribal Unity, a Kuki-Zomi group based in Kangpokpi district, has called for a 24-hour shutdown in the district on Sunday.

This violent incident comes on the heels of another confrontation on Friday, where two members of the Meitei community were injured during a gunfight in Tengnoupal and Kakching districts. These recent flare-ups mark the end of the longest period of relative peace the state has experienced in the past 11 months since violence erupted on 3 May last year.

The recent period of peace, lasting approximately 45 days, has been shattered just days before polling for the Inner and Outer Manipur Lok Sabha seats. Although campaigning has been subdued, it was expected to intensify, especially with Union Home Minister Amit Shah scheduled to arrive for campaigning on 15 April.

MTNews Desk

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