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India: at least 54 dead and 11,500 evacuated due to an inter-ethnic clash

India: at least 54 dead and 11,500 evacuated due to an inter-ethnic clash

The inter-ethnic clashes that have been shaking the Indian state of Manipur since Wednesday, and that forced the deployment of the military, so far caused 54 deaths and the evacuation of some 11,500 citizens to army shelters or to neighboring Assam.

Neither the authorities nor the security forces have yet made public any official balance, but the Indian Minister of Law and Justice, Kiren Rijiju, informed the press on Saturday that “many lives were lost” during the riots. For its part, the Indian agency PTI counted 54 fatalities on Saturday, based on data collected in local morgues: 23 bodies rest in the Lamphel Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, 16 in the Churachandpur district hospital morgue and 15 remaining at the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences.

Internet services have been suspended for three days until further notice and a curfew has been imposed in several areas of the state with a strong security device that includes the deployment of thousands of troops from the Army and the police.

On Saturday the situation was calm in the Imphal valley, the epicenter of the clashes, according to the Indian media. Times of India. In this regard, the head of the Government of Manipur, biren singhcommunicated on his Twitter account that the measures will be relaxed at certain times so that people can buy essential items such as medicines and food.

The origin of the conflict

A decision of Manipur High Court on April 20 urged the ruling party to consider including the Meitei tribe in its list of registered castes, allowing its members access to greater resources.

This possibility of including this community, which represents more than 50% of its population, was rejected by the rest of the state’s tribal groups, who criticized that granting them special status would annul the advantages it brings to people from minority communities such as his.

Members of the other tribes staged protests that have grown in number and intensity over the past month, until the two factions clashed this week. during a march called by the All Manipur Tribal Students Union (ATSUM) in support of native communities, giving rise to the spiral of violence that engulfed Manipur.

This state suffered for decades from tensions involving ethnic groups and separatists. The region is home to dozens of tribal and guerrilla groups whose demands range from greater autonomy to secession from the rest of India.

More protests and injuries

Meanwhile, New Delhi city authorities increased security in the area after a clash between police and Dozens of Indian wrestling athletes who have been demonstrating for eleven days over alleged sexual abuse within the national federation. The altercation between both parties broke out after a member of the Common Man’s Party (AAP) tried to come over with some camp beds to offer to the fighters who sleep in the place.

The main accusations of sexual abuse and harassment fall on the president of the federation, the politician of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Brijbhushan Sharan Singh and his coaches.

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