In Manipur, the bodies of the Kuki-Zo community, previously housed in Imphal’s hospital mortuaries, underwent airlifting to Churachandpur for dignified cremation. Two helicopters were deployed for this task, ensuring secure transportation.
Supreme Court Directive: Bodies Relocated
The Supreme Court’s directive to the Manipur government emphasized proper arrangements for the burial of individuals who lost their lives in the Manipur violence. In compliance, the bodies, totaling 175, with 171 identified and four unidentified, were moved to the Churachandpur district headquarters.
Identification and Claiming Process
Previously kept at Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences (JNIMS) and Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, Imphal, 83 bodies were claimed by relatives. However, 88 remain unclaimed, and four remain unidentified in the mortuaries.
For the unidentified bodies, the court instructed the Manipur government to conduct burial or cremation with due observance of religious rites. Additionally, the government was directed to collect DNA samples from all bodies, considering their involvement in various criminal investigations.
Claiming Initiative by Tribal Unity Committee
The Committee on Tribal Unity (CoTU), a prominent tribal group in Manipur’s Kangpokpi district, declared its intention to claim the unclaimed bodies of the Kuki-Zo community. This proactive step is seen as a move towards fostering peace amid the communal violence that erupted on May 3, 2023, resulting in around 200 casualties.