India’s Manipur: Armed militants kill police officer, ambush convoy

Armed militants shot dead a senior police officer and wounded two others in separate attacks in India’s Manipur on Tuesday, officials said, the latest episodes of violence in the restive state where ethnic clashes have killed at least 180 people this year, Reuters reports.

A police spokesperson said militants opened fire at a sub-divisional police officer (SDPO) while the officer was overseeing the construction of a helipad in Moreh, a trading town on the border with Myanmar.

Ethnic clashes erupted in the northeastern state on May 3 as members of the majority Meitei ethnic group and minority Kuki tribal fought over sharing government benefits and quotas in jobs and education.

Sporadic violence has continued since the peak of the clashes, despite tens of thousands of extra security personnel being deployed, marking a rare security failure for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government in a state ruled by his Bharatiya Janata Party.

The police spokesperson said militants that attacked the senior official belonged to the Kuki community. No arrests have been made so far. The Meitei make up 53 percent of Manipur’s population, while the Kuki account for 16 percent.

In a separate incident, militants ambushed a security convoy near village Sinam in Tengnoupal district injuring two policemen. “Both the injured were shifted to a local hospital with multiple bullet injuries,” a senior police official told Reuters by telephone.

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