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Armed mob goes on the rampage in the troubled state of Manipur

A MOB torched the house of an Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB) personnel in the troubled region of Manipur, police said today.

The incident took place at Samaram on Tuesday night after a man, identified as Ronaldo, was killed when a mob of nearly a 1,000 attacked the IRB camp at Wangbal.

Ten others were also injured in the clashes.

This is the latest violence to erupt in the hill state of Manipur which led to the holding of a massive rally today in the Churachandpur district organised by the village defence volunteers.

Simmering tensions between the minority Christian Kukis against mostly Hindu Meiteis exploded in May with an outbreak of killings, arson and a rampage of hate.

This followed the Meiteis demanding a special status that would allow them to buy land in the hills populated by Kukis and other tribal groups, as well as a share of government jobs.

The Meiteis have long blamed the minority Kukis for the state’s rampant drug problems and accused them of harbouring migrants from Myanmar. 

Angry mobs and armed gangs have swept into villages and towns, burning down houses, massacring civilians and driving tens of thousands from their homes. 

More than 50,000 people have been forced to flee to packed relief camps. Many who fought back were killed, sometimes bludgeoned to death or even beheaded.

The deadly clashes, which have left at least 120 dead, persist despite a large army presence. Wide swathes of the state have been turned into ghost towns and left scorched by fire.

“It is as close to civil war as any state in independent India has ever been,” said Sushant Singh, a senior fellow at the Centre for Policy Research in India and an Indian army veteran.

The unrest has been met with nearly two months of silence from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party has power in Manipur. 

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