August 4, 2023 || Tongsan Media Group ||
Started on June 12, 2023 the alleged Meitei radicalized groups numbering around thousands of armed militias in cohort with the State security forces including Police Commandos had conducted multiple attacks on Kuki-Zo villages in Khamenlong area thus burning down all the thirteen tribal villages situated in that area.
In contrast to the claim made by the State government and Imphal-based media outlets on the number of deaths in Khamenlong area, it was said that the death toll could have reached to about 250 people or more in those retaliatory strikes made by the Kuki-Zo village guards or in defending tribal villages during the 3-days attacks on Khamenlong Kuki area under Saikul Sub-Division, Kangpokpi district.
The tribal village guards or volunteers, who were guarding the Villages from imminent attacks, carried out their retaliatory strikes upon the attackers, thereby leaving them hundreds died and many sustain injuries. The Meitei militants were in possession with sophisticated weapons and the gunfight continued for about three days.
However, the Kuki-Zomi village guards could not match outnumbering Meitei militant groups, resulting in complete arsoning of all their villages. According to report in the Manipur Express, a vernacular newspaper based in Lamka (Churachandpur), about 302 Meitei radicalized individuals lost their lives during the whole incident and as many as 83 automatic guns have also been recovered from the firing sites in different places.
The village volunteers who had recounted the horror leading to the heinous incident said, a large Meitei mob with sophisticated arms including women had burned down some of the Kuki villages, after which they took shelter in an unburned Church at Aigejang allegedly drinking alcohol and performing merry making inside the church as if they had achieved victory. After learning their demean our acts, the village volunteers fought back, thereby causing many fatalities to the onrushing Meitei armed groups.
As per inputs received from the ground, more than 10 Ambulances and many private vehicles have been engaged in transporting the dead bodies and those individuals with serious injuries. Sources from the ground had also claimed that many attackers too jumped into a gorge, which could further increased the death toll. It was also reported that 4 tribal volunteers have also sustained injuries in the firing incidents.
Reports further stated that many dead bodies have been still lying unclaimed while many have been still missing. Evacuation of dead bodies have been still underway, sources said. In the violent incident in Khamenlok area, it was reported that the Chief Minister, N. Biren Singh, had also visited the peripheral area at Nongsum Meitei locality about 3 Km away from the strife-torn Khamenlok Kuki area.
The Kuki Inpi Manipur (KIM) had also brought out to the public notice that when Songjang and Govajang Village were attacked and burnt, the Chief Minister of Manipur, N.Biren Singh was present at Nongsum Leikai which is adjacent to Khopibung Village. Earlier, in the violent aggression on Kuki-Zomi villages in Sugnu and Serou area too last month, it was said that about hundred people from the radicalized Meitei groups had been killed in the retaliatory strike by the tribal village volunteers. Some of the dead bodies were also captured in mobile phone which went viral on social media platforms.
Allegedly seeing the number of dead bodies beyond their expectation, irate mobs in Imphal valley resorted to rezoning of houses belonging to Kuki-Zomi tribals. They had burnt down the official quarter of Nemcha Kipgen situated in Lamphel while the residence of RK Ranjan, MP, was also burnt down today.
Ref: The Hills Journal
Translated: Tongsan Media Admin Team