The relentless wave of unrest in Manipur reached a tragic zenith on November 20 as the Valley-Based Insurgent Groups (VBIGs) carried out a second ambush in Kangpokpi district, claiming the lives of two Kuki-Zo individuals, including an Indian Reserve Police personnel. The incident occurred in between Leilon Vaiphei and Kharam Vaiphei at 9:30 a.m.
Thangminlun Hangshing, son of Lunkhongam Hangshing of Khunkho village, and IRB personnel Henminlen Vaiphei, son of Luntinlal Vaiphei of Mission veng Leimakhong, fell victim to the Valley-Based Insurgent Group's aggression in the same Kangchup area where a prior attack on September 12 claimed the lives of three innocent Kuki-Zo.
In response to the brutal ambush, the Committee on Tribal Unity, Sadar Hills Kangpokpi (CoTU), declared an emergency shutdown across Kangpokpi district, enforcing the closure of all business establishments and shops. Vehicle movement is restricted for the next 48 hours to mourn the loss of lives and assess the deteriorating situation.
The bodies of the victims were taken to Motbung Primary Health Center for post-mortem examinations before a condolence ceremony at Motbung Community Hall. Hundreds of Kuki-Zo people gathered at Gamgiphai to receive the duo, offering a gun salute through the Kuki-Zo volunteers before their burial at the Martyr's Cemetery in Phaijang village, Kangpokpi district.
Thangtinlen Haokip, CoTU's Information and Publicity Secretary, spoke out against the heinous attack, emphasizing the aggressive stance of the Meitei militants on Kuki-Zo territory. Condemning the ambush, Haokip called it "shameful and barbaric" and urged immediate intervention from the Central Government.
In a press statement, Haokip insisted on involving the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the investigation, seeking justice for the victims. CoTU called upon the Central Government to take proactive measures to apprehend those responsible for the brutal attack, ensuring the safety of the Kuki-Zo community.
The emergency meeting convened by CoTU following the incident underscored a demand for separation from Manipur, citing the Kuki-Zo people's safety concerns under the current administration. The group urged the Union Home Ministry to recognize the continuous attacks and stressed that political separation is the only viable solution.
As a result of the emergency shutdown, business activities came to a halt, and vehicular movement along National Highways 2 and 37 in Kangpokpi district was brought to a standstill. CoTU's indefinite economic blockade, initiated on November 16, continues, adding to the complexity of the situation as the community awaits a swift and effective response from the Central Government.
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