More than 50,000 left homeless in ethnic conflict in India's Manipur state

11 Jun 2023 05:47pm
Image for illustrative purposes only – FILE PIX
Image for illustrative purposes only – FILE PIX
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NEW DELHI,India - More than 50,000 people have been left homeless following the recent ethnic clashes in India's northeastern Manipur state.

"Altogether 50,698 people displaced by the ethnic violence are currently sheltered at 349 relief camps," according to a statement quoting state information minister R.K. Ranjan.

The conflict between the Meitei community, which has a thin majority in the state bordering Myanmar, and the tribal communities, including Naga and Kuki, killed more than 70 people last month.

Tensions and sporadic violence continue in the region despite heavy deployment of security forces.

The federal Home Ministry on Saturday said a "peace committee" headed by Manipur governor Anusuiya Uikey has been formed to restore calm in the state.

It includes chief minister N. Biren Singh, lawmakers, bureaucrats and leaders of political parties.

The unrest began after the high court directed the state government to consider including the Meitei community in the Scheduled Tribe (ST) category -- a demand fiercely opposed by the tribal groups who constitute more than 40 per cent of the population.

The Scheduled Tribe status would give the Meiteis additional benefits in government jobs, education and access to forest lands where tribal groups are dominant. - BERNAMA

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