Guwahati, August 05, 2023: In a disturbing development, three individuals from the Meitei community lost their lives in Kwakta, located in the Bishnupur district of Manipur, in the early hours of Saturday. The incident has escalated tensions in the region, particularly considering the recent burial of 35 Kuki-Zomi people, which sparked clashes along the border of the two districts just days ago.
The burial site in question was proposed to be held in Torbung, an area situated at the border between the Kuki-Zomi dominated Churachandpur district and the Meitei dominated Bishnupur district. Torbung was previously the epicenter of violence that broke out on May 3, eventually spreading to other parts of the state.
Security personnel and the Ministry of Home Affairs expressed concerns over the choice of location, fearing a potential escalation of tensions and violence due to the disputed nature of the territory. As a result, meetings were held late into the night on August 2 and 3 between Kuki-Zomi organizations, security authorities, and the Ministry of Home Affairs, urging the groups to reconsider their plans.
In response, the International Meeteis Forum filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Manipur High Court, seeking to prevent Kuki-Zomi organizations from using the location for burial purposes, asserting that the area is government land housing a sericulture farm.
The court, acknowledging the volatile law and order situation, ordered a status quo on the land until the next hearing scheduled for August 9. Subsequently, the ITLF (presumably the International Meeteis Forum) released a statement on Thursday morning, announcing a five-day delay in the burial “on the request of the Home Minister.” The situation remains tense as authorities strive to avert further violence and unrest in the region.