A federal Indian minister’s house has been set on fire by a mob in the remote northeastern state of Manipur, which has been hit by clashes between members of rival ethnic groups for more than a month, officials said.
Junior Foreign Minister R K Ranjan Singh’s office on Friday confirmed that a mob vandalised and set fire to his house in the Manipur capital, Imphal.
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“Fortunately, none of the caretakers or family members were injured in the attack on the house,” said an aide to Singh in New Delhi.
Singh is a federal minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government. Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) also governs the state of Manipur.
The attack comes after weeks of violent clashes between members of the mainly Christian Kuki ethnic group, who mostly live in the hills, and Hindu majority Meiteis, the dominant community in the lowlands of the state.
Clashes between the two communities erupted on May 3, caused by resentment over economic benefits and quotas for easy access to government jobs and education reserved for the Kukis.
Meiteis account for half of Manipur’s population and extending the limited affirmative action quotas to them would mean they would get a greater share in education and government jobs reserved for Kukis and others.
The latest federal home ministry records showed at least 100 people have been killed and more than 60,000 residents displaced amid the violence since May.
Civil society organisations from the Meitei and Kuki communities said hundreds of people from their communities were injured and rendered homeless.