Over 5,600 people from violence-hit Manipur took shelter in Assam, Mizoram

Parliamentarians, various organisations and NGOs have urged the Manipur and Central governments to curb the ethnic violence involving all stakeholder

Children take shelter. (Photo: IANS)
Children take shelter. (Photo: IANS)


Over 3,375 men, women and children took shelter in six Mizoram districts after ethnic violence broke in Manipur on May 3, officials said on Wednesday.

Due to the violence in Manipur, another 2,300 took shelter in eight government sponsored camps in Cachar district of southern Assam. However, around 600 people returned to their homes in Manipur.

An official in Aizawl said that of the 3,375 people, mostly tribals, sheltered in Mizoram, the highest number of 1,214 people took shelter in Saitual district followed by 1,142 in Kolasib district, 934 in Aizawl district, 68 in Champhai District, 12 in Khawzawl District and four in Serchhip District.

The same tribal and non-tribal communities, especially the Meiteis, Nagas, Kukis, Mizos, and Chakmas are living in different northeastern states presenting a complex mosaic.

Parliamentarians, various organisations and NGOs have urged the Manipur and Central governments to curb the ethnic violence involving all stakeholders.

Ruling Mizo National Front MP C. Lalrosanga had urged Indian Army chief General Manoj Pande, to gain people's trust and confidence, especially of the tribal communities, to control the ethnic strife in Manipur.

The North East Students' Organisation (NESO), an apex body of eight major students organisations of seven northeastern states, condemned the Manipur government's action evicting the indigenous settlers belonging to the Zo community and the violent incidents that followed.

"The tribals were evicted on the pretext that they are settling on reserve forest whereas the fact is that these indigenous settlers have been residing in these areas for ages.

"The government of Manipur has to take into account that these are the indigenous communities of northeast and have inhabited these lands from their forefathers and they are not illegal immigrants from Nepal or Bangladesh," NESO Chairman Samuel B. Jyrwa and General Secretary Mutsikhoyo Yhobo said in a joint statement.

Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP), Mizoram's apex students' body, has accused the Manipur government of grabbing Zo ethnic tribals' land in the neighbouring state and evicting them.

"The origin of these problems is the Manipur government's attempts to evict ethnic Zo people from their various settlements so that their lands can be taken from them and these tribal lands can be declared reserved forest, protected forest, wildlife sanctuaries and wetlands," the MZP had said in a statement.

A series of violent clashes, firing and arson broke out across Manipur during a 'Tribal Solidarity March' on May 3 called by the All Tribal Students' Union of Manipur (ATSUM) to oppose the demand for the inclusion of the Meitei community in the Scheduled Tribe category.

Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh had said on Monday that at least 60 people, including women, have been killed and 231 people injured while 1,700 houses have been burnt in the ethnic violence in Manipur since May 3. He also said that 35,655 persons, including 1,593 students, have been moved to safer locations.

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