Four persons, including a Manipur police commando and a teenaged boy, were shot dead and several others injured in separate incidents in Bishnupur district as violence continued in the state on Friday, officials said.
While the policeman was killed in a gunfight with suspected militants at Moirang Turel Mapan in the evening, the others were killed early Friday morning in Kangvai, Songdo and Awang Lekhai villages bordering Bishnupur and Churachandpur districts.
According to the police, two of those killed were Kukis and the third, 17-year-old M Ricky, was Meitei. Sources said Ricky was hit by a bullet when he was trying to flee his village as a gunfight broke out between rival groups.
The identity of the two Kukis was yet to be established.
The police commando, identified as Pukhrambam Ranbir, who was hit on the head during an exchange of fire was first taken to the district hospital from where he was referred to a hospital in Imphal. He succumbed on the way, officers said.
Meanwhile, mobs continued to block the movement of security forces in the area. Additional columns have been inducted from alternate routes to tackle the situation, officers said.
The Kangvai area has been a sensitive zone ever since the clashes started in the state.
The security forces have created a buffer zone in the area and have deployed personnel to prevent violence. However, miscreants from both sides tend to sneak in and fire at each other.
The security forces have been working round-the-clock to restore peace in the area by engaging both communities.
More than 100 people have lost their lives and over 3,000 injured since ethnic violence broke out in the state on May 3, when a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for ST status.
Around 40,000 central security personnel, besides the Manipur Police, have been deployed to control the violence and bring back normalcy in the state.
Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur’s population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley. Tribal Nagas and Kukis constitute 40 per cent of the population and reside in the hill districts.