In a recent development, the Manipur government has clarified that a viral video depicting a man being burnt is related to an incident that occurred in early May in the Kuki-dominated Kangpokpi district. The government’s security advisor, Kuldiep Singh, made this announcement during a press conference held in Manipur’s capital, Imphal.
The seven-second video showed a man wearing a black shirt and camouflage pants with visible injury marks on his head, lying near a barbed wire. In the background, voices of people and gunshots could be heard. However, it remains unclear whether the man was burnt alive or if he was already deceased before being set on fire.
Singh identified the individual in the video as Laldinthanga Khongsai, a 37-year-old resident of Paokongching village in Kangpokpi district. He revealed that the incident had taken place on May 4, following the commencement of ethnic clashes in the region. Currently, the victim’s body is in the morgue at the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences in Imphal.
Considering the connection to a previous viral video involving two Kuki women who were paraded naked and raped, the Director-General of Police (DGP) has requested that the case be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The earlier incident led to the arrest of seven individuals, and the case was transferred to the CBI in August.
The Indigenous Tribal Leaders Forum (ITLF), a Kuki organization, strongly condemned the incident, describing it as “shocking and barbaric.” They criticized the state government for what they perceived as a selective application of justice and expressed concerns about the ongoing ethnic cleansing campaign against the Kuki-Zo community by the majority Meiteis.
This revelation sheds light on the complexities of addressing and investigating such incidents, particularly in regions with a history of ethnic tensions. The government’s decision to involve the CBI indicates a commitment to thorough and impartial investigations in response to these serious allegations.