Imphal: The situation in Manipur remains tense as violence continues to erupt between the Meitei and Kuki-Zo communities since May 2023. On Tuesday (31 October), suspected militants shot dead a police officer in Moreh, a border town in Tengnoupal district.
According to a local police official, the police team was inspecting the proposed construction site of a helipad at Eastern Shine School grounds in Moreh when they came under fire from the militants. The Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) Chingtham Anand Kumar was hit in the stomach and succumbed to his injuries at a primary health center in Moreh.
The police said that additional security forces led by senior police and para-military officers reached the area and launched a search operation to nab the attackers. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack so far.
The incident comes amid growing resentment among some civil society organizations, especially those based in Moreh, against the deployment of state police and commandos in the border town. They have been demanding the withdrawal of security personnel from Moreh, alleging that they are harassing and extorting money from the locals.
The state police have also arrested more than 10 people from Myanmar for illegally entering Indian territory and stealing furniture and other household items from houses abandoned by the Meitei community in the past few days. The houses were burnt or vandalized when violence broke out in the state in May, displacing thousands of people and killing hundreds.
Chief Minister N Biren Singh, reacting to the arrest of three Myanmar people on October 21 on charges of stealing furniture and electrical items from houses that were burnt, had said, “This happened when some special organizations are protesting against the deployment of state police and commandos in Moreh city.”
The violence in Manipur is rooted in various political and ethnic issues, such as the demand for Scheduled Tribe status by the Meitei community, the extension of the Sixth Schedule to Manipur, the land rights of the hill tribes, and the influx of refugees from Myanmar following the military coup in 2021.