NEW DELHI, June 3: At least 98 people have been killed and more than 300 injured over the past month in India's north-eastern state of Manipur since violence broke out there, confirmed a government official on Friday.
Besides, over 4,000 cases of arson have been reported, in which properties worth millions of Indian rupees were torched and thousands of people were forced to evacuate their homes. People displaced from their homes continue to live in relief camps as the situation remains tense. According to state government sources, over the past 24 hours, more than 140 weapons have been surrendered by the locals before the police after an appeal was made on Thursday.
The violence had broken out after a "Tribal Solidarity March" was organized by locals on May 3 in as many as 10 districts of the state to protest against the Meitei community's demand for scheduled tribe status. The clashes mainly broke out between the Meitei and the Kuki communities.
According to local media, the people belonging to the Meitei community account for about 53 percent of Manipur's population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley. Tribal people belonging to the Naga and Kuki communities constitute another 40 percent of the population and reside in the hilly districts of the state.
Presently, more than 10,000 security personnel of the Indian army and the paramilitary Assam Rifles have been deployed in the state to maintain peace and public order, added the media report. Amidst the raging violence, the country's Home Minister Amit Shah spent four days in the state to take stock of the situation.
Concluding his visit on Thursday, Shah announced that a judicial probe into the clashes would be soon initiated. A peace committee under Manipur Governor Anusuiya Uikey with representatives of all political parties will also be set up to pacify the violence in the state.