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Army flag march in Manipur amid violence over Meitei ST demand

Shillong, May 4 (Agencies): The Army on Thursday morning staged a flag march in Manipur that is witnessing communal violence in the wake of the demand for ST status by Meiteis.

The demand for ST status has been on for some time, and on Wednesday, the situation spiralled out of control following clashes between the Kuki and the Meitei, sources said. The All Tribal Student Union Manipur took out a tribal solidarity march in Churachandpur district in demand for ST status to Meiteis.

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The state government shut down internet for five days beginning Wednesday and Section 144 has been imposed in eight vulnerable districts. The Army and the Assam Rifles have been deployed to control the situation.

A source in Manipur told Meghalaya Monitor that several Meitei houses were burned down by Kuki protesters and the former retaliated by damaging Kuki houses.

The Manipur High Court recently asked the state government to consider inclusion of Meiteis in ST that led to an outburst among the tribal groups in the state.

Chief Minister N Biren Singh took to Twitter to appeal for peace. “My humble appeal to everyone in the State to cooperate with the Government in maintaining peace & harmony at this hour,” he tweeted.

Pugilist Mary Kom also tweeted photos of burning houses and violence.

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