GUWAHATI: Bringing back fears of 1993, over 50 houses and vehicles were torched during a clash between people belonging to the Naga and Kuki communities in two villages in Manipur’s Kamjong district on Monday.
The violence rekindled memories of the massacre of the Kukis in 1993 by the Naga militants. The authorities suspended mobile internet services in the “territorial jurisdiction” of Manipur for three days with immediate effect and order prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC in the violence-hit Chassad-Kamjong and along the main road of Sampui area.
No officer of the state’s civil administration and the police was available for comments on the phone. However, it was learnt the violence broke out after the miscreants, allegedly Nagas, torched the jhum cultivation of some Kuki villagers on Sunday.
Enraged over the act the miscreants, the Kukis set ablaze a petrol station, the owner of which is a Naga, at Chassad and blocked a major road there, thereby preventing the movement of vehicular traffic to state capital Imphal and Naga-majority Ukhrul town and Kamjong village. The protestors demanded that the miscreants, who were involved in Sunday’s incident, be handed over to them.
As vehicles were stranded, a large mob of the Nagas from Kamjong village went to the site to clear the road. This led to a clash between the two sides during which over 50 houses were set afire while about a dozen vehicles were either torched or damaged. Some people were injured in stone-pelting. Chassad is a Kuki village.
The Kukis, who are believed to have migrated to Manipur from Myanmar more than 200 years ago, are settled in areas where their neighbours are Nagas. The Nagas view them as migrants whom they had given space to settle. Both communities have been locked in a bitter conflict over land ownership for decades. In September 1993, 115 Kukis were killed by Naga militants.
Return of violence
It was learnt the violence broke out after miscreants, allegedly Nagas, torched the jhum cultivation of some Kuki villagers on Sunday. In response, the Kukis set a police station owned by a Naga ablaze