An indefinite curfew has been imposed in Manipur after six people were killed and houses of ministers and lawmakers were torched on Monday night in the violence that erupted in Churachandpur town over passage of three Bills in the state assembly. Eight others were injured in the arson.
Of the deceased, two people died in police firing, while one was burnt to death, NDTV reported.
"In view of the situation, the administration imposed indefinite curfew in Churachandpur town since late this evening," PTI quoted a senior police officer as saying.
A mob set afire seven houses, belonging to Manipur Health Minister Phungzathang Tonsing, Parliamentarian Thangso Baite and five MLAs, including Manga Vaiphei of Henglep Assembly constituency, Ginsuanhau of Singngat and Vungzagin Valte of Thanlon.
The Manipur Assembly had on Monday passed three Bills to protect the indigenous people of the state. The Bills are The Protection of Manipur People Bill, 2015, The Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms (Seventh amendment) Bill, 2015, and The Manipur Shops and Establishments (Second Amendment) Bill, 2015.
Why the protest?
The groups were protesting the passage of the Manipur Land Revenue & Land Reform Act (7th Amendment Bill 2015) with amendment that will now give people from non-tribal areas access to tribal areas, which earlier was inaccessible to them. The protesters fear that with the amendment, tribals, the Nagas and the Kukis will lose their land in these areas.
While another issue is a clause in the passed Bills that has set 1951 as the base year to identify non-indigenous people in Manipur. The non-indigenous people are considered outsiders by a section of the society.
The protesters are against the clause that grants property rights to people who have the proof that they settled in Manipur before 1951, but those who fail to provide the documents will have to give up their lands and leave the area. The tribals, the Nagas and the Kukis now fear losing their lands as many of them do not have exact records to show they settled in the state before 1951.