Tensions between the Meitei and Kuki communities have persisted since May 3 in Manipur for more than two months causing immense damage to the state, killing more than 140 till now and displacing almost 55,000 people. Weightlifter Mirabai Chanu, an Olympic medalist, has now requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi in an emotional video posted on her Twitter handle pleading him to end the ongoing strife that has left the north-eastern state in a shambolic state.
According to Chanu, presently undergoing training in the United States, many players have been unable to train due to the conflict, and children’s academic performance has also been impacted. “I want to appeal to the Prime Minister and Home Minister to bring an end to this conflict as soon as possible and save all the people of Manipur and bring back peace which was prevalent earlier,” said Chanu.
Chanu, who took home a silver medal in the 49 kg weight division at the Tokyo Olympics, stated that despite being far from home, she was unable to stop thinking about the circumstances there. “I have my house in Manipur though I am currently training in the USA to prepare for the upcoming World Championships and Asian Games. I always think about when this conflict will end,” she said.
In the meantime, two individuals have died in the most recent violent outburst in Manipur within the past 24 hours. The first instance happened on Saturday in Imphal East when Lucy Maring, a 55-year-old Naga woman suffering from mental illness, was discovered slain. Another incident involved 40 to 50 armed criminals raiding a Kuki village in the hills of Kangpokpi district called Laimaton Thangbuh, where a 34-year-old man named Jangkholun Haokip was killed.
After the woman was killed, the Manipur Naga body announced its shutdown. The victim was “forcefully apprehended” by a woman’s organization, according to the United Naga Council (UNC), and given to a private militia who executed her. In order to protest the tragedy, it has called for a shutdown today in all of Manipur’s Naga communities.