Manipur: More than 200 people move to relief camp in Jiribam district

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Imphal, Jun 8 (PTI) More than 200 people belonging to the Meitei community have been evacuated from their villages in Manipur's Jiribam district and moved to a newly set up relief camp after violence broke out following the killing of a man allegedly by militants, officials said Saturday.

The houses of the people staying in the relief camp at Jiri Sports Complex were burnt in the outlying villages of Lamtai khunou, Dibong Khunou, Nunkhal and Begra in the Jiribam district by suspected militants.

Most of the newly displaced people were staying in villages more than 30 km from Jiribam town, an official said, adding "more security personnel have been rushed to the area." The Manipur police have ordered state police commando personnel based in Imphal Valley to proceed to Jiribam on Saturday for duty with immediate effect.

Tension erupted in ethnic strife-torn Manipur's Jiribam district on Thursday evening after a 59-year-old man belonging to one community was killed allegedly by militants belonging to another, police said.

The man, identified as Soibam Saratkumar Singh, went missing after he had gone to his farm in the morning. Later, his body was found, with wounds made by a sharp object, a police officer said.

Following the incident, irate locals set fire to an abandoned structure as retaliation, he said.

Locals also staged a protest in front of Jiribam police station demanding that their licensed firearms taken from them in the wake of elections be returned to them after the completion of the polls.

Jiribam, which has a diverse ethnic composition comprising Meiteis, Muslims, Nagas, Kukis and non-Manipuris, had so far remained unaffected by the ethnic strife which has been raging in Manipur since May last year.

The ethnic conflict between Imphal Valley-based Meiteis and hills-based Kukis has led to the deaths of over 200 people and rendered thousands of people homeless. PTI COR RG