Violence, arson reported from Manipur, district council members’ quarters set on fire


Protesters agitating against the passage of three bills in assembly on 31 August have continued to cause violence and arson, torching the under-construction quarters of district council members in Manipur on Saturday.

According to news agency PTI, some of the quarters, already completed but located in the violence-hit part of Churachandpur town were torched by the agitators at about 7.30 pm on Saturday.

Eight people have been killed and over 14 injured after violence erupted in Manipur’s Churachandpur district on August 31. Houses of a Minister, one MP and three MLAs were also set on fire by the protesters. An indefinite curfew has been imposed in the area.

The main objection according to the protesters was to the Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reform Act (7th Amendment Bill 2015).

As per the new law, those who settled in Manipur before 1951 can have property rights. The rest will have to give away property rights and may even be asked to leave. Protesters say most people living in the hill areas particularly the Kuki tribe share an ethnic bond with neighboring Myanmar and don’t have exact records of when they settled here and hence ‘cannot come with any proofs of the same.’

Manipur has been witnessing violent agitations over the last three years for the implementation of the Inner Line Permit System.

The agitation is based on a belief that an influx of outsiders into the state has taken away jobs, and land from the indigenous people, unlike in states like neighbouring Nagaland, where the entry of outsiders is strictly regulated.