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Violence in India's Manipur flares despite Modi call for peace

Two dozen Kuki holdouts removed from state capital after months behind barricades

A civil society gathering in the Kangpokpi district of Manipur on Sept. 3 marks four months of ethnic violence in the Indian state. (Photo by Greeshma Kuthar)

KANGPOKPI, India -- As deadly ethnic violence rocked India's northeastern Manipur over the past four months, two dozen residents of the state capital Imphal refused to leave their homes even as hundreds of others fled.

Rev. Prim Vaiphei and 23 others say they saw houses burned and read about their Kuki-Zo tribal brethren being attacked, even lynched, as fighting erupted with the Meitei majority. Many Kukis ran into hill districts. But the holdouts hunkered down in Imphal's New Lambulane area and surrounded themselves with barricades. "We were in Imphal but it was more like a fort which nobody could access," Vaiphei told Nikkei Asia.

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