By M.Devanand Sharma
Imphal (Manipur), Aug 18: In a fresh round of violence in Manipur. Bodies of three armed Kuki militants were reportedly found on Friday at a poppy farm near Thowal Kuki village, Ukhrul district amid the ongoing violence in the Manipur state.
Sources said the incident happened at around 6 am and heavy exchange of gunfire reported in the area.
State police said that the incident took place around 4:30am at Thouwai Kuki, a village inhabited by Kuki tribals, located around 47km from Ukhrul Town Headquarter, which is dominated by Tangkhuls, a Naga tribe.
“According to our information, a group of armed miscreants approached the village from the hills located to the east of the village and started firing at village guards. Three people from the village have been killed in the incident. There are no reports of any injuries,” said N Vashum, superintendent of police (SP), Ukhrul, confirmed.
Meanwhile the security measures have been beefed up and joint operations by state police and the Indian Army are underway to nab those involved.
Source informed that the lifeless bodies of the missing trio were recovered after hectic search by CSOs and surrounding villagers and they were identified as Jamkhogin Haokip 26yrs, S/o Doukholun Haokip , Thangkhokai Haokip 35yrs S/o Doulet Haokip and Hollenson Baite 24 yrs, S/o Lhunkhothang Baite.
Traffic along National Highway 202 which connects with the Kuki village remains undisrupted.
The ethnic clashes broke out in the northeastern state on May 3, after a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.
Over 120 people have died and more than thousand injured since violence broke out.
Around 50,000 central security personnel, besides the Manipur Police, have been deployed to control the violence and bring back normality in the state.