Violent clashes between the Meitei and Kuki communities in Manipur in May 2023 have so far killed over 100 people and displaced thousands.
Amid ongoing violence in Manipur, the house of Kuki National Organization (KNO) spokesperson Seilen Haokip in Churachandpur was set on fire on Monday night. A day later, KNO and the United People’s Front (UPF) announced that the blockade on National Highway 2 in Kangpokpi district would be lifted.
There have been several incidents of torching of houses of Meitei representatives in some parts of the valley, especially in Imphal. At the same time, this is the first major instance of the residence of a Kuki-Zomi leader being targeted. Spokesperson Haokip’s home is located in Songpi, Churachandpur district. On Sunday, the KNO and the UPF said that the decision to lift the blockade on the highway was taken keeping in mind Union Minister Amit Shah’s concern for restoring peace and harmony.
Blockade will be removed from National Highway 2
The blockade will be lifted with immediate effect to ensure uninterrupted supply of essential commodities in the state, the announcement said. NH-2 connects Imphal to Dimapur in Nagaland and the blockade since May 3 has affected the supply of essential goods. However, the decision to lift the blockade amid ongoing violence has not gone down well with a section of the Kuki-Zomi community. Subsequently, Haokip issued a message to be circulated in the community stating that the sole purpose of the decision was to accelerate negotiations for a political solution in the form of a separate administration for the Kuki-Zomi regions.
Manipur: Schools will be opened from July 5
The KNO is an umbrella group of 17 Kuki insurgent groups currently under the Suspension of Operations Agreement. The chairman of the KNO is PS Haokip, who is also the chairman of the Kuki National Army (KNA), one of the most influential Kuki insurgent groups.
Amid incidents of violence in Manipur, Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Monday said additional security personnel would be deployed in five districts and schools for classes 1 to 8 would be opened from July 5. The Supreme Court on Monday sought a detailed status report from the Manipur government on steps taken to prevent caste violence, rehabilitation camps for homeless and violence-affected people, deployment of forces and law and order situation in the state. .