More than 20,000 people have been displaced from their homes due to inter-ethnic clashes in northeast India, which began on Wednesday after a demonstration by tribal communities turned into riots. The army has been deployed and has announced that firing will be ordered in “extreme cases.” Authorities have imposed a curfew and cut internet access.
Although no major incidents have been reported since Saturday night and the curfew has been lifted in Churachandpur, one of the most tense areas, a casualty count has not yet been officially reported. According to hospital morgues in Imphal, the state capital, and Churachandpur, 54 deaths have been reported.
The remote region of Manipur has long been the subject of tensions between ethnic groups and separatists. The region is home to dozens of tribal and guerrilla groups seeking everything from greater autonomy to secession from the rest of India. Although authorities have not reported an official death toll, the army has reported that it has helped move 23,000 civilians to its operational bases or military barracks.
The inter-ethnic clashes in Manipur are only part of the conflicts that have erupted in India due to ethnic and religious tensions in recent decades.
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