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The Hindu
The Hindu
The Hindu Bureau

19 Kuki-Zo victims of Manipur ethnic clash laid to rest in mass burial

The last rites of 19 people, including a seven-year-old boy, belonging to the Kuki-Zo community killed during Manipur’s ethnic conflict in May, were performed in the State’s Kangpokpi district on December 15.

The members of the victims’ families were among the hundreds of people who attended the mass burial at Phaijang village, about 20 km from the district headquarters, Kangpokpi. The burial was organised by the Committee on Tribal Unity (CoTU), a Kuki civil body active in the district.

The 19 bodies were among the 60 that were airlifted from two morgues in the State’s capital Imphal on Thursday. The other 41 were flown to Churachandpur district, where the last rites are likely to be performed next week.

The bodies of four Meitei people, kept at the Churachandpur District Hospital mortuary, were also airlifted to Imphal for their last rites.

Supreme Court push

The bodies were transported following the Supreme Court’s November 29 directive to the Manipur government seeking their “decent and dignified” disposal.

Friday’s mass burial was carried out amid a 12-hour shutdown called by the CoTU for the funeral service.

“After a long tumultuous eight months of despair, heartbreak, and hopelessness, our fallen brothers and sisters have reached their resting place here in our homeland,” the CoTU said in a statement. It thanked the Supreme Court for directing the State government to ensure the final rites of the victims of the ethnic conflict, and the Assam Rifles for transporting the bodies.

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