Manipur violence: Escaped Covid, got beheaded back home

The 31-year-old was beheaded, allegedly by a riotous mob at his Langza village in the Kuki-majority Churachandpur district when he was guarding his house amid an arson attack.
Representational image of Manipur violence. (Photo | PTI)
Representational image of Manipur violence. (Photo | PTI)

GUWAHATI: Little would have David Thiek known what awaited him back home in Manipur when he returned from Mumbai after the Covid pandemic broke out in 2020. After last Sunday at midnight, the 31-year-old was beheaded, allegedly by a riotous mob at his Langza village in the Kuki-majority Churachandpur district when he was guarding his house amid an arson attack.

The attack followed the killings of three village volunteers by unidentified gunmen at Khoijumantabi village in the Meitei-majority Bishnupur district in the vicinity. No arrest has been made so far in connection with the two incidents. 

On Wednesday, the Lamka Resurgent Squad in Churachandpur organised a massive rally against David’s beheading. The protestors came out wearing black and camouflage uniforms and shouted slogans demanding justice for him.

The rally began at a local ground in the town and culminated at the ‘Wall of Remembrance’ site in Tuiboung. Earlier, several Kuki-Zo tribal organisations condemned the killing.

The locals remembered David as one who was brave. He loved to play football and spend time with his friends. David lost his mother when he was a five-year-old. Since his father is physically challenged, Thiek was taken care of by his uncle. He went to school, but dropped out after Class 8 due to financial difficulties, locals said. He picked up odd jobs to make a living before working as a waiter in Mumbai for about eight years.

The locals said he had been guarding his house ever since the ethnic clashes broke out on May 3 after a “tribal solidarity march” which was organised by a students’ organisation to oppose the move for the inclusion of the majority Meitei community in the Scheduled Tribes list. “He had plans to go back 
to Mumbai but got stuck at home due to the violence,” a local said.

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