Ethnic violence erupted in Manipur, India, on 3rd May 2023, between the Meitei people and predominantly Christian tribal communities, including the Kuki people.
The incident was fueled by the Meitei community's demand for a Scheduled Tribe status, which raised concerns among tribal groups about land and resource encroachment.
Manipur's ethnic diversity comprises the Meitei population in the Imphal Valley and various tribal communities, predominantly Kukis and Nagas, inhabiting the surrounding hills.
The violence escalated in 2023 with the government's efforts to remove illegal immigrants, leading to protests and heightened tensions between communities.
The Meitei demand for Scheduled Tribe status was further aggravated by a Manipur High Court verdict in April, directing the state government to consider the demand.
On 3rd May, the All Tribal Student Union Manipur (ATSUM) organized a "Tribal Solidarity March," which resulted in clashes between the Meitei and Kuki populations in the Churachandpur district.
To restore law and order, close to 10,000 troops and paramilitary forces were deployed, and curfew was imposed in eight districts.
A viral video emerged on 19th July 2023, showing two Kuki women being paraded naked and sexually assaulted by a mob of Meitei men, an incident that occurred on 4th May 2023.
The internet shutdown in Manipur hindered timely reporting and intervention, and the emergence of the video sparked outrage and demands for justice.
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