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Manipur Violence: 175 dead so far, 33 missing, 5,668 weapons looted, 96 bodies unclaimed

Manipur Violence: Key statistics include arson cases, property damage, weapon theft, and recovery efforts by security forces. Barricades have been removed, supply logistics have improved, and legal action has been initiated. 

Manipur Violence: 175 dead so far, 33 missing, 5,668 weapons looted, 96 bodies unclaimed
First Published Sep 15, 2023, 9:29 AM IST

Since the eruption of ethnic violence in Manipur on May 3, at least 175 lives have been lost, 1118 individuals injured, and 33 individuals are still missing, according to the state's police department's reports. Shockingly, 96 unclaimed bodies remain in morgues as a sombre testament to this prolonged turmoil. The state government has disclosed distressing statistics that shed light on the far-reaching impact of this violence, which persists unabated despite the concerted efforts of both state and union authorities to restore normalcy.

Among the figures, there have been no fewer than 5,172 cases of arson, encompassing the destruction of 4,786 homes and 386 places of worship, including 254 churches and 132 temples. Furthermore, a staggering 5,668 weapons have been looted from state armouries since the outset of the violence, with security forces managing to recover 1,329 of them.

During a press conference, IGP (Operations) IK Muivah addressed the challenges faced by Manipur, stating, "In this challenging time that Manipur is in, we can reassure the public that the police, central forces, and the civil administration are working tirelessly to restore normalcy." Of the missing firearms and ammunition, 1,359 firearms and 15,050 rounds were successfully retrieved, Muivah confirmed.

The security forces have taken down at least 360 illegal bunkers within the state, according to the data provided.

Furthermore, the barricades previously erected between Phougakchao Ikhai and Kangvai villages along the Imphal-Churachandpur road, which served as a boundary marking a "buffer zone" between the hills and the valley, have been removed. These barricades were manned by security forces to prevent individuals from the warring Meitei and Kuki communities from crossing over and engaging in violence.

In terms of supply logistics, police officials noted that security convoys were operating smoothly on National Highway 37 between Imphal and Jiribam. The volume of goods in transit increased with the reopening of National Highway 2 from Imphal in Manipur to Dimapur in Nagaland, beginning on Thursday.

In an evening press release, the police control room confirmed the movement of 315 vehicles along National Highway 37, with 269 vehicles travelling to Imphal and 281 departing from Imphal, all carrying essential items.

Meanwhile, the Manipur High Court has admitted a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by the International Meiteis Forum (IMF). The PIL seeks to challenge the validity of the fact-finding report published by the Editors' Guild of India regarding the ethnic violence in the state. The PIL also requests directives preventing the use of the said report by any authority or agency involved in investigating the conflict.

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