Manipur violence: Hit by clashes, many continue to move to neighbouring states | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Manipur violence: Hit by clashes, many continue to move to neighbouring states

ByEzrela Dalidia Fanaiutpal/Biswa Kalyan Purkayastha
May 16, 2023 05:45 AM IST

While 6,520 internally displaced people from Manipur have taken shelter in Mizoram, another 1,400 camped in Assam’s Cachar.

The influx of displaced residents from violence-hit Manipur seeking shelter in neighbouring Mizoram and Assam continued on Monday, officials said, adding that 7,900 people have fled to the two northeastern states following ethnic clashes that broke out earlier this month.

Clashes broke out in Manipur on May 3 following the tribal solidarity march organised in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status. (File photo)
Clashes broke out in Manipur on May 3 following the tribal solidarity march organised in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status. (File photo)

While 6,520 internally displaced people from Manipur have taken shelter in Mizoram, another 1,400 camped in Assam’s Cachar district, according to the official data from the two neighbouring states.

Also read: Over 5,800 people from violence-hit Manipur fled to Mizoram: Report

Clashes broke out in Manipur on May 3 following the tribal solidarity march organised in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status. At least 70 people were killed in the clashes.

Till Monday, officials in Mizoram said, a total of 6,520 residents from Manipur, belonging mainly to the Chin, Kuki and Mizo communities, have been lodged at temporary relief camps across six districts in the state. Of these, nearly 700 reached Mizoram on Monday.

Maximum 2,238 displaced people sheltered in Saitual district, followed by 2,117 in Aizawl, 1,993 in Kolasib, 141 in Champhai, 17 in Khawzawl and 14 in Serchhip district, according to Mizoram government’s official data till May 15. This figure stood at 5,822 till Sunday night.

Among them is a 30-year-old Kuki man, Samuel, who has been staying at a shelter home in Chawlhhmun locality of Aizawl for the last two days.

“I fled to Assam Rifles camp in Imphal and stayed there for seven days. The camp was very congested, but we were given two meals a day,” he recounted his ordeal, adding that his rented house in the tribal colony of Imphal was ransacked by a mob on the night of May 3.

“On May 10, few people from the camp were escorted to the airport. As I could not get the flight to Aizawl, I took a flight to Guwahati, from where I boarded a night bus to Aizawl,” he said.

Samuel said his siblings and parents were back at their ancestral home. “Since the pandemic, I had shifted to Imphal to work from home. I am working with a Delhi-based MNC. I came down to Aizawl to resume my work. Had there been internet back home, I would have stayed there,” he added.

R Lalngheta, president of the Central Young Mizo Association (CYMA), one of the biggest civil society groups in Mizoram, said that several community halls in Kolasaib district have been converted into temporary relief shelters for people displaced from Manipur.

“The CYMA has donated 11 lakh to support the tribals of Manipur, who have lost their homes and belongings. We have also sent bags of rice, cooking oil, dal and onions,” he said.

Also read: Manipur unrest: CM Biren Singh visits Delhi to meet Shah; fresh violence surfaces

In Cachar district of Assam, hundreds of people from Manipur have started returning to relief camps following reports of fresh clashes in their state.

Cachar circle officer Jonathon Bhaifai on Monday told HT that the number of people taking shelter at 13 camps in the district had come down to 1,000 two days ago. “We are witnessing increase in number of inmates in the camps since Saturday night and by Monday evening, it will cross 1,400 as per our assessment,” he said.

Earlier, around 22,00 residents from Manipur’s Jiribam district arrived at Cachar on the night of May 5 following clashes.

Cachar superintendent of police (SP) Numal Mahatta said the number of Manipur residents sheltered in the district was in the range of 500 to 1,000 at present. “Some of them go to Jiribam to work during the day and return to Cachar at night to stay with their families. This number is not more than 100,” he said.

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