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Manipur state releases bodies of riot victims

The bodies were transported to families so they can conduct last rites.

The violence broke out in May, claimed many lives – officially 175 but the estimated number is over 200 – mostly those who belong to the Christian Kuki tribe. The bodies of the victims were kept in mortuaries and the government refused to give out the bodies which prevented the families to perform the last rites for their dead. Out of the released 64 bodies, 60 belong to the Christian majority Kuki tribe.

One of the main delaying factors in the release of the bodies was the dispute between the Kuki tribe and Meitei people concerning burial grounds. Since many of the Christian churches were destroyed the final resting peace of several bodies is still in question.

The local government transported the bodies by helicopter, fearing that if they would have transported the bodies by car it could possibly lead to the resurgence of violence. The hostilities between the two tribes are still ongoing. Many Kuki Christians (over 50,000) are still displaced. They are living in relief camps as their homes were burnt down. They fear that their returning to their villages and building of their homes would ignite another wave of violence.

Source: UCAnews

Photo: AFP

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