One dead, two people injured in blast at Manipur University campus

One dead, two people injured in blast at Manipur University campus

Another blast occurred at the Dhanamanjuri University complex in Imphal on February 24, claiming one life and injuring another amid the ongoing conflict in Manipur.

At approximately 9:30 pm, an explosion rocked the vicinity of the All Manipur Students Union (AMSU) office within the Dhanamanjuri University complex in Imphal.

According to a police official cited by the Hindustan Times, two individuals were injured in the blast and promptly taken to a private medical facility. One of the victims, identified as 24-year-old Oinam Kenegy, succumbed to his injuries, while the other, Salam Michael (24), is currently undergoing treatment. Both individuals hailed from Bishnupur district.

The police have cordoned off the area and are working to identify the explosive device, suspected to be a grenade, and the perpetrators.

In a separate incident, the United Committee Manipur (UCM) office in Lamphel, Imphal, was set on fire. No casualties were reported, and an investigation is ongoing.

The ongoing conflict between the Meitei community and Kukis in Manipur has disrupted life in the state since May 2023, resulting in approximately 200 deaths and displacing over 50,000 people.

What is going on in Manipur?

The violence that erupted in May last year has claimed the lives of at least 200 individuals and left around 500 others injured. The unrest has displaced more than 60,000 people, posing a significant challenge to the efforts of the army, paramilitary forces, and police to restore order. Instances of looting from police armouries, the destruction of hundreds of churches and numerous temples, as well as the devastation of villages have been reported.

Who are the groups involved?

The Meitei community traces its roots to Manipur, Myanmar, and neighbouring regions. While the majority adhere to Hinduism, some follow the Sanamahi faith. Conversely, the Kukis, primarily Christians, have settled across India's northeast, with many in Manipur having ancestral ties to Myanmar. Meiteis predominantly inhabit the Imphal valley, while the Kukis reside in the surrounding hills and beyond.

How did the violence start?

Tensions escalated when Kukis protested against Meiteis' requests for official tribal status. Kukis feared this designation would further empower Meitei's dominance in government and society, potentially impacting land ownership and settlement rights in Kuki areas.

However, underlying issues abound. Kukis allege that the Meitei-led government's anti-drug campaign masks efforts to displace their communities. Illegal migration from Myanmar has also fueled tensions, exacerbating land use pressures amidst population growth. Additionally, rising unemployment has led many youths to join various militias, further exacerbating the situation.