The region has been the scene of violence since May 3, due to the demonstrations organized by the Meitei community, which makes up more than half of Manipur’s population, on the grounds that they are not included in the “Scheduled Tribe (ST)” category.
In the violence in Manipur, where the soldiers were ordered to “shoot” on May 3, 60 people were killed and 35 thousand people were evacuated from the state and taken to safe areas.
State Prime Minister Biren Singh announced that 230 people were injured and 1700 houses were set on fire during the events.
Singh stated that the violence was under control, but 1041 guns and 7460 bullets belonging to the security forces were stolen during the intervention.
The soldier was ordered to “shoot”
While the Meitei community, which makes up 53 percent of the state, organize demonstrations on the grounds that they are not included in the “Scheduled Tribe (ST)” category, the opposition of groups, including the Kukis, who make up about 30 percent of the state’s population, leads to violence.
In Manipur, with a population of 2.5 million, one-third of the population resides in a portion of about 10 percent of the state’s land.
The Meitei, who are not allowed to settle in mountainous areas by law, also claim that they face difficulties due to the increasing population of Myanmar and Bangladeshi immigrants in the state.
The capital city of Imphal and Churachandpur and Kangpokpi districts were the scene of violence the next day after the All-Tribal Students’ Union Manipur (ATSUM) march in the state’s Churachandpur district on 3 May.
After the events, a 5-day curfew was imposed in 7 districts and internet access was temporarily closed.
While thousands of security guards were deployed to the region due to the violence in the region, 7,500 people took shelter in military and government facilities.
State Prime Minister Singh stated that there were undesirable events and some property was damaged, and that all necessary steps were taken to maintain the legal order.
Singh also stated that military reinforcements were requested from the central government to ensure the safety of life and property of the people.
In a written statement from the Manipur state administration on May 4, it was noted that warnings to prevent violence in the region were ineffective, and that it was ordered to shoot soldiers in “extraordinary” situations.
Communities in the “Scheduled Tribe (ST)” category in India are provided with opportunities such as political representation, quota in schools and civil service.