Manipur chief minister N. Biren Singh told reporters on Sunday that security forces had killed around 40 “militants” over the last two days.
The isolated region in northeast India — which lies on the border with Myanmar — saw a surge in inter-ethnic violence this month that killed at least 60 people and left tens of thousands displaced.
What we know so far
Singh said security forces had killed dozens of militants following attacks on civilians.
“The terrorists have been using M-16 and AK-47 assault rifles and sniper guns against civilians. They came to many villages to burn down homes,” local media quoted Singh as saying.
“We have started taking very strong action against them with the help of the army and other security forces. We have got reports some 40 terrorists have been shot dead,” Singh was quoted as saying.
Many insurgents have been captured by authorities, Singh said. He did not specify the number of detainees.
The political leader also made an appeal to citizens to “keep faith in the ongoing measures of the central government and the state to restore normalcy.”
Legal ruling sparks ethnic violence
The violence started on May 3 when smaller tribal groups clashed with ethnic majority Meitei people over economic benefits and quotas that the minority tribes enjoy.
In April, a court urged the ruling party to consider including the Meitei in its “Scheduled Tribe” list, which grants privileges such as access to land and government jobs.
The restive state’s other tribal groups claim that granting them special status would nullify the advantages reserved for people from minority communities.
The court decision was met with organized protests that have increased in number and intensity over the past month.
Since then, internet services have been suspended and security forces have taken to the streets to prevent further clashes between the communities.