GUWAHATI: Armed men ambushed a convoy carrying the security team of the chief minister of India’s troubled northeastern state of Manipur on Monday, wounding two people, but the leader was not with them at the time, officials said.

Fighting between Manipur’s majority Meitei and minority Kuki communities over sharing economic benefits and quotas given to the latter has killed at least 220 people and displaced 60,000 in the last year, with sporadic clashes continuing.

Chief Minister N. Biren Singh was due to visit the state’s Jiribam region on Tuesday, after violence flared there following the discovery of the body of a 59-year-old Meitei man last week.

The security team attacked on Monday was going to make “arrangements and checks” for his visit, officials said. Attackers opened fire on one vehicle in the convoy, “leading to a firefight,” a security officer said. “The assailants will be brought to justice,” Singh wrote on X.

Houses in the region, two police outposts and a forest department office were torched by “unknown miscreants” following the death of the Meitei man, police said.

Prime Minister Nare­ndra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party-led alliance lost both seats in Manipur to the main opposition Congress in recent national elections — the first polls since violence began in the state. Singh still runs the state’s local government for the BJP.

“In the last year, due to the complexity of the violence, neither the state nor central government has been able to take strong actions against the groups on both sides,” he told the Indian Express newspaper on Sunday. “This has led to dissatisfaction amongst the valley people,” he said.

The state of 3.2 million people is divided into two enclaves — a valley controlled by the Meiteis and the Kuki-dominated hills, separated by a stretch of “no man’s land” monitored by federal paramilitary forces.

Published in Dawn, June 11th, 2024

Opinion

Editorial

China’s concerns
23 Jun, 2024

China’s concerns

Pakistan has no option but to neutralise militant threat to Chinese projects, as well as address its business and political stability concerns.
War drums
23 Jun, 2024

War drums

If it is foolish enough to launch another war in Lebanon, Tel Aviv will be solely responsible for setting the Middle East on fire.
Balochistan budget
23 Jun, 2024

Balochistan budget

BALOCHISTAN’S Rs955.6bn budget for the fiscal year 2024-25 makes many pledges to the poor citizens of Pakistan’s...
Another lynching
Updated 22 Jun, 2024

Another lynching

The chilling alternative to not doing anything — which appears to be the state’s preferred option — is the advent of mob rule.
Tax & representation
22 Jun, 2024

Tax & representation

THE taxation measures outlined in the budget for the incoming fiscal year have triggered a lot of concern among ...
Life of the party?
22 Jun, 2024

Life of the party?

THE launch of Awaam Pakistan, a party led by former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and former finance minister...