Fresh violence erupted in the Indian state of Manipur on Friday, worsening an already tense ethnic conflict in the region. The violence broke out on the morning of September 8 at Pallel in the Tengnoupal district and continued for several hours, leaving a few dead and several injured. Kukis and Meiteis, the two communities in conflict in Manipur, have blamed one another for the attack. According to various sources, one to two people were killed and 40 to 50 people—including women—were injured.
The shooting began close to Pallel town, where there was a conflict between locals and Assam Rifles forces. Security personnel used physical force to scatter the crowd. The security personnel and armed individuals got into a gunfight in the nearby village of Molnoi. The armed criminals were attempting to set fire to the village and engage in acts of mayhem there. Large crowds of Meitei community members gathered as information of the gunfight spread, and they marched towards the place of the conflict while attempting to break security barriers. When security forces troops tried to disperse them to prevent the situation from getting worse, locals were hurt in the process.
Tension was palpable in the area, with security forces firing tear gas shells to bring the situation under control, including personnel from the Rapid Action Force (RAF), the Assam Rifles and Manipur Police . A day before the protest, a full curfew had been imposed in all the five valley districts of Manipur as a preventive measure, according to various local media outlets.
Since the outbreak of ethnic violence over a March Manipur High Court order directing the inclusion of the Hindu majority Meitei community in the list of Scheduled Tribes, the rule of law situation in Manipur has steadily deteriorated. Kuki and Naga communities started fierce protests against the High Court’s decision. Consequently, violence broke out in the state which has yet not ended. Thousands of people have been internally displaced, and over 180 people have died as a result of protests that have turned into full-fledged ethnic violence.