The protests demanding Inner Line Permit (ILP) — a special permit to enter a state — in Manipur reached the Indo-Myanmar border town of Moreh, with the town witnessing its first inter-community clashes in nearly a decade.
Tuesday’s clashes pitted the Kuki tribe, a dominant community in the area, against the the Meitei community, which has been demanding implementation of ILP in Manipur.
The tribals in state — under the umbrella groups of the Nagas and the Kukis — have not backed the agitation for ILP, which has primarily been a Meitei demand.
Locals claimed that the Hill Tribal Council of Moreh had opposed the Meitei Council’s call for an ILP rally in the town on Tuesday. The tribal council had asked for the planned rally in the “Kuki area” to be called off as “many different communities lived here together in harmony”.
Apart from the dominant Kukis and the Meiteis, Moreh also has a large population of Tamils, Punjabis, Marwaris and traders from across the country, who have lived here for decades.
“The police, the Army just stood there and watched,’’ said another resident.
Moreh Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) Sadananda Akoijam, however, said that the situation was brought under control by the police despite being “outnumbered”.