In riots-hit Manipur, bodies of Kuki-Zo airlifted from Imphal morgue

In riots-hit Manipur, bodies of Kuki-Zo airlifted from Imphal morgue

Imphal: Bodies of the Kuki-Zo community kept at the mortuaries of the hospital at Imphal were airlifted in the early morning on Thursday amid tight security.

Two choppers were pressed into services for the transportation of the bodies.

The bodies were deposited at the Churachandpur district headquarters as per the directive of the Supreme Court to the Manipur government to make proper arrangements for the dignified burial of people who lost their lives in the Manipur violence.

According to reliable sources, at least 19 bodies were airlifted and reached Motbung LS ground in Kangpokpi district. Subsequently, the district police handed over the bodies to members of COTU representing the deceased families.

Initially, nine bodies were airlifted from the Imphal morgue, and later, another 10 bodies arrived at Motbung in Kangpokpi district, as per the sources.

There are 175 dead bodies of which, 171 were identified bodies. Earlier, the bodies were kept at the state government-run Jawarharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences, (JNIMS) Imphal, and the central government-run Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, Imphal.

In riots-hit Manipur, bodies of Kuki-Zo airlifted from Imphal morgue

Eighty-three of these bodies were claimed by the relatives or the next of kin, 88 are unclaimed and the remaining four bodies remain unidentified in the mortuaries.

For the unidentified bodies, the Court directed the Manipur government to carry out the burial or cremation process keeping due observance of religious rites.

Manipur government is also directed to collect DNA samples of all bodies as many deceased persons were part of numerous criminal investigations.

The Committee on Tribal Unity (CoTU), one of the powerful tribal outfits in Manipur’s Kangpokpi district announced its intention to claim the unclaimed dead bodies of the Kuki-Zo community.

The announcement is another step towards the peace process in the ongoing communal violence between the Kukis and Meiteis that broke out on May 3, 2023, and cost the lives of around 200 individuals.

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