At least five people, including a policeman, were killed and 12 others injured after fresh violence erupted in Manipur yesterday, where ethnic violence has claimed at least 80 lives in the last month.
This comes hours ahead of Home Minister Amit Shah’s visit to the violence-hit state.
Earlier on Sunday, Chief Minister N Biren Singh said that they have got reports that “40 terrorists” have been shot dead.
“The terrorists have been using M-16 and AK-47 assault rifles and sniper guns against civilians. They came to many villages to burn down homes. We have started taking very strong action against them with the help of the army and other security forces. We have got reports some 40 terrorists have been shot dead,” Mr Singh told reporters.
The Chief Minister said the spurt in violent attacks on civilians on the outskirts of Imphal valley in the past two days seemed well-planned and is strongly condemnable.
Home Minister Amit Shah is scheduled to visit Manipur today. He has appealed to both the Meiteis and the Kukis to maintain calm and peace, and work for bringing normalcy.
Army chief General Manoj Pande also went to Manipur on Saturday to review the law and order situation.
The violence erupted across the state last month, when tribal groups, mainly Kukis, protested against a demand by the Meitei community to be included in the Scheduled Tribes category, which would give them reservation benefits and access to forest lands.
The violence was preceded by tension over the eviction of Kuki villagers from reserve forest land, which had led to a series of smaller agitations.
The government has imposed curfews and internet bans in several areas to prevent further escalation of violence.