IRB jawan among 2 tribal men shot dead in Manipur; shutdown call in Kangpokpi district

IRB jawan among 2 tribal men shot dead in Manipur; shutdown call in Kangpokpi district

Imphal, Nov 20 (PTI) A security force personnel and his driver were shot dead by suspected members of the Imphal Valley-based terror groups in Kangpokpi district of Manipur on Monday, officials said here.

The duo were travelling in a vehicle when suspected terror group members belonging to the state's majority community carried out an ambush between Haraothel and Kobsha villages, the officials said.

One of the deceased was working with the India Reserve Battalion (IRB), the officials said.

The incident took place in an area adjacent to the Singda dam, which has become a hotspot for insurgent groups to target tribal community members during the ongoing ethnic violence in the northeastern state.

A tribal organisation claimed that the Kuki-Zo community people were attacked without provocation and declared a 'shutdown' in Kangpokpi district.

The area witnessed several incidents of gunfight between armed villagers since the ethnic strife between Meitei and Kuki communities began in the northeastern state in early May.

Additional forces have been deployed in the area and a search is underway to arrest those involved in the incident, a police official said.

Condemning the 'unprovoked attack' on the Kuki-Zo community people, the Kangpokpi-based Committee on Tribal Unity (COTU) declared an 'emergency shutdown' in Kangpokpi district.

The COTU, at a meeting, also demanded that the government make arrangements for a separate administration for tribals.

More than 180 people have been killed since the violence erupted on May 3 after a 'Tribal Solidarity March' was organised in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community's demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.

The Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur's population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley, while tribals, which include Nagas and Kukis, constitute 40 per cent and reside mainly in the hill districts. PTI COR NN SKL SMN SMN

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