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Protest over killing of woman affects normal life in Manipur

Maring community is one of the six smaller tribes in Manipur that neither belongs to Kukis and Nagas.  However, the two groups sometimes claim the six tribes as their own.

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Imphal: A 12-hour general strike called by the United Naga Council (UNC) affected normal life in some parts of Manipur.

Naga-dominated areas experienced deserted roads and closed shops during a strike from 6 am to 6 pm, protesting the killing of Lucy Marem, a Maring woman, in Imphal East district on July 15.

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The woman was allegedly abducted by a few people including women from Sawombung area, Imphal East last Saturday (15 July) and was killed at Keibi Heikak Mapal Maning Ching under Sagolmang police station on the same day.

Maring community is one of the six different tribes in Manipur – Maring, Chothe, Chiru, Koireng, Kom and Purum  – that neither belongs to Kukis and Nagas.  However, the two groups sometimes claim the six tribes as their own. Moreover, the six tribes also tend to shift political allegiances either to Nagas or Kukis due to pressure or to protect themselves from the bigger ones. Also, there are 34 different recognised tribes in Manipur, which also included the six smaller communities. 

Earlier, the UNC condemned such barbaric acts committed on innocent Nagas despite knowing her identity as Naga. “Since the beginning of this unfortunate conflict between Meiteis and Kukis, the Nagas have maintained that peace must prevail and have lent our might toward this end,” the UNC statement read.

Speaking to media persons, Shivakanta Luwang, Superintendent of Police, Imphal East, said that district police arrested nine people so far regarding the killing of the Maring woman. 

Konsam Naocha Singh, 43, of Huidrom Mayai Leikai; Okram Samungou Meitei, 38, of Heikakmapal; O Suraj, 27, of Keibi Heikakmapal; Th Chingkheinganba Meetei, 25, of Sawombung Block; Ahanthem Sobita, 61, Sawombung Maning Leikai, Thounaojam Lata Devi, 63, Sawombung Block; Ayekpam Ashalata Devi, 50, Sawombung Gate; Ahanthem Ito Devi, 50, Sawombung Gate and Ngasepam Sunita, 42 of Keibi Heikakmapal were arrested and remanded into police custody for seven days, the officer said and added two weapons including a .303 rifles along with three lives rounds and one 9mm pistol (country made) along with two live rounds were seized from Nacho and Samungou respectively.

The victim, Lucy Marim Maring, 55, daughter of late Thoukhal Marim Maring is a resident of Beaulahram village, Pallel a/p Game Village, Zone-3, A-99:

To protest the killing, people also burned the house of a person allegedly involved in the killing.

The village authority also announced that all those involved in killing the woman would be ostracised from the village.

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