Imphal: Despite there being no new "major violence" overnight, the army reported that 23,000 people have fled ethnic violence in northeast India that has reportedly claimed at least 54 lives.
After a protest march by a tribal group last week sparked clashes, violence broke out in Manipur state, and authorities used tear gas and set vehicles and homes on fire.
In the state bordering Myanmar, the military has stationed tens of thousands of soldiers, ordered "shoot-at-sight" orders in "extreme cases," implemented curfews, and shut down the internet.
The army reported on Sunday that there had been no significant flare-ups over the previous night and that the curfew in Churachandpur district, one of the main flashpoint areas, was lifted between 7 and 10 am.
Unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as drones, were mentioned in the statement. "Past 24 hrs also witnessed Army significantly enhancing surveillance efforts through aerial surveillance, movement of UAVs & redeployment of Army Helicopters within Imphal Valley," it said.
The statement read, "Total 23000 civilians have been rescued to date & were moved to own operating bases/military Garrisons."
Hospital mortuaries in Churachandpur and Imphal, the state capitals, reported a combined total of 54 dead, but authorities have not released an official death toll.
The possibility of the state's dominant Meitei community being recognised under the "Scheduled Tribe" category has angered tribal groups, including the Kukis.
In an effort to combat structural inequality and discrimination, they would be granted a certain number of government jobs and college admissions as a result of this designation.
Kuki L. Sanglun Simte, 29, who has been camped out in front of Imphal's airport with 11 members of his family since Saturday, described the horror as the fighting started.
"We ran for cover. Things aren't right now. He told AFP, "They are only attacking us Kukis. Simte claimed that on Thursday, a mob killed his 49-year-old cousin Siemcha Gangte and set his home on fire.
"The attackers claim that we are strangers and must depart Imphal. The neighbourhood police offered no assistance when they attacked us.
Simte, who has made travel arrangements for the nearby state of Tripura's capital city of Agartala, said he wouldn't come back until security had improved.
We don't feel secure at the moment, he said.
Lalpu Suantak, 45, a member of the Kuki community who works for a state-owned bank in Imphal, claimed that he and his 12 family members had to leave their home after several nearby homes and a nearby church were set on fire.
Although a mob burned down one house in our neighbourhood, he told AFP that his house had not yet been harmed.
With at least 50,000 people killed in Manipur since the 1950s, ethnic and separatist groups seeking greater autonomy or even secession from India have caused decades of unrest in India's northeast.
Over time, these conflicts had subsided as numerous factions reached agreements with New Delhi for increased authority.