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There is ethnic tension in Manipur’s Jiribam district after the body of a 59-year-old was found today, the police said. The police said they suspect he was killed by militants. Soibam Saratkumar Singh went missing while he was returning from his farm, the police said, adding the body had wounds inflicted by a sharp object.

Angered by the killing, locals set an abandoned structure on fire, the police said.

They marched to Jiribam police station and shouted slogans there, demanding the police to return their licenced guns that were taken away ahead of the Lok Sabha election, which were to be returned after the polls.

Jiribam – which has a diverse ethnic composition comprising Meiteis, Muslims, Nagas, Kukis, and non-Manipuris – had so far remained unaffected by the ethnic strife which has been raging in Manipur since May last year.

The ethnic conflict between valley-dominant Meitei community and the hills-dominant Kukis has led to the deaths of over 220 people and left thousands homeless.