Ahead of LS polls, 2 Kuki-Zo tribals killed, CoTU calls for shutdown

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Ahead of LS polls, 2 Kuki-Zo tribals killed, CoTU calls for shutdown

Imphal: At least two gunmen from the Kuki-Zo community were killed in a shootout with armed Meitei/Meitei groups in the peripheral areas of Imphal East and Kangpokpi districts on Saturday.
The incident of violence in Manipur took place in Moirangpurel and Phailengmol villages just before Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s proposed rally in the state.
After a long hiatus, fresh firing began around 8:30 a.m. on Saturday morning, killing two Kuki-Zo armed “village volunteers.” However, the exact number of injured in the exchange of fire is yet to be confirmed.
The deceased have been identified as 25-year-old Kamlensat Lunkim, son of Thangkhomang Lunkim, from Bongjang village, Kangpokpi district, and 23-year-old Kamminlal Lupheng, son of Paulette Lufeng, from Nungdam village, Kangpokpi district.

Tensions are running high in the areas surrounding Kangpokpi and Imphal East, leading to the deployment of additional security forces to maintain control. Firing was reported in several areas in the adjoining areas – Leitanpokpi and Kangchup Chingkhong on Saturday night.

In response to the death of two Kuki-Zo persons, a 24-hour total shutdown has been imposed within Sadar Hills Kangpokpi by the Committee on Tribal Unity (CoTU) from April 13 midnight (Saturday) until midnight of April 14 (Sunday).
The Committee justified the shutdown, stating that it is a protest against the inhumane and barbaric actions of the secessionist Meitei militants and their blatant disregard for the Model Code of Conduct set by the Election Commission of India.
It strongly condemned the “state-sponsored clandestine attack” that occurred in the Phailengmol areas this morning at around 8:30 am. The attack, CoTU said was “carried out by secessionist armed Meitei militants, resulted in the tragic sacrifice of two Kuki-Zo Village Volunteers who bravely defended the area.”
Additionally, the Committee denounced the incident on April 12th, during which an innocent laborer was shot at Gamgiphai, a Kuki-Zo dominated area. Information and Publicity Secretary, Committee on Tribal Unity, Kangpokpi in a press release stated that illegal quarry and pilferage of villages at L. Songphel, Saichang, Bongjang, Kamu Saichang and Bongbal Khullen is the precursor towards the incident at Phailengmol area.
“This insatiable appetite to wage war and aggression by the majoritarian Meitei community against the minority Kuki-Zo community is a clear indication to exert political dominance over the minority,” CoTU maintained.
The Committee also stated it is appalled at the state Election Commission’s indifference attitude towards rampant movement of secessionist Meitei militants in the valley districts is a disservice to the democratic set up of a country.

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