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Three Dead After Gunmen Allegedly Disguised as Police Storm Village in Manipur

The men were dressed in police and IRB uniform, the villagers reportedly recounted.

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An attack in Manipur’s Kangpokpi district on Friday, 9 June, has left three people dead and two more wounded.

Details: The deceased were identified as 65-year-old Domkhohoi, 52-year-old Khaijamang Guite, and 40-year-old Jangpao Touthang, according to a report by The Indian Express.

  • The incident reportedly took place in Khoken village, which is located on the border between Kangpokpi district and Imphal West.

  • Most of the people in the village are Kukis, the report said.

Version of events: Around 40 armed men wearing police and India Reserve Battalion uniforms entered Khoken and opened fire at 4am on Friday, the villagers claimed.

"They [the assailants] were dressed in a mix of black T-shirts worn by members of Arambai Tenggol, and police and IRB uniform, and they began firing indiscriminately. The firing went on for around two hours," Thongkhup Doungel, the kin of one of the victims, was quoted as saying in the report.

"We vacated the village and went to the nearest CRPF camp and informed them. The attackers left only after CRPF and the Gorkha Regiment came to the village. They left in five Gypsy which we could see were police vehicles," he added.

Why it matters: A day prior to the incident, Kuldiep Singh, security advisor to the Manipur government, said that the situation in the violence-hit northeastern state was peaceful.

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What they're saying: "The Kuki-Zo villagers, not suspecting the attackers’ true identity and assuming it was a combing operation, gave way but were met with automatic rifle fire, resulting in the tragic deaths of villagers," The Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF) was quoted as saying in the report.

In response to the attack, the Committee on Tribals Unity Sadar Hills has reportedly reimposed a blockade on movement of essential goods through NH-2.

Some context: Manipur has seen unrest for more than a month now.

  • A 'Tribal Solidarity March' had been organised by a students body on 3 May 2023, as a mark of protest against the proposed inclusion of the Meiteis in the Scheduled Tribe (ST) category.

  • But the march quickly escalated into large-scale violence, with vehicles and structures being torched.

  • So far, the violence in the state has claimed almost 100 lives and displaced at least 35,000 people.

Meanwhile, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has reportedly registered six FIRs and formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to be headed by a DIG-rank officer to investigate the alleged conspiracy behind the violence.

(With inputs from The Indian Express.)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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Topics:  Manipur Attack   What We Know 

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