Violence-hit kids of Manipur fall in love with tranquility of Mizo hills
AIZAWL, MAY 21: This is a story which leaves one happy amid the turmoil that has afflicted the people of Manipur. There is a strong “positive” element in it which normally keeps a safe distance from Journos.
Events can often overtake wrongdoers and render them irrelevant. But the fear is often such theories fail.
A children’s home in Churachandpur district was shifted to Aizawl following violent clashes between Meiteis and Kuki and other Zo tribal communities in Manipur.
“The children are extremely happy and satisfied…and they are impressed by the peace and tranquility in Mizoram”, says Roslyn Kimbuang, one of the caregivers at the new makeshift arrangement made by the Aizawl Deputy Commissioner’s office.
These ill-fated children have been lodged in the Art and Culture Auditorium at Berawtlang area near the Mizoram capital Aizawl city since May 10.
The inmates of the children’s home, numbering 30 and 3 caregivers fled Manipur and reached Aizawl on May 10. For convenience of work to ensure better services, these children are classified into 3 categories – orphans, partially orphaned and vulnerable children.
Meanwhile, sources in the Mizoram Government said the largest number of internally displaced people are at Kolasib (2,590) followed by Aizawl district and northeastern Saitual districts at 2,278 and 2,249 respectively. The total number of internally displaced people (IDPs) due to massive violence in Manipur, who have taken shelter in Mizoram, rose to around 7,370 as on Saturday, May 20.
In Manipur, however, there was no let up in the overall security and socio-political conflict even as in some quarters people from different communities are coming forward to help each other.
A press statement by the PRO (Defence), Kohima and Imphal stated that series of security meets across Manipur, especially in the districts of Churachandpur, Bishenpur, KPI, Kakching and Imphal West, in coordination with the civil administration and civil society organisations have resulted in people of all communities displaying their desire for peace.
Security Advisor to Manipur Government, Kuldeep Singh, on Saturday said the police and other agencies of the Manipur Government conducted a surprise checking of ‘SoO camps’.
The Suspension of Operation (SoO) camps were set up after a temporary peace agreement
last year. The camps belong to Kuki militant groups.
“Surprise checking of SoO camps were conducted and the presence of cadres is increasing”, the Security Advisor told a press conference at the Chief Minister’s Secretariat in Imphal. Arms at SoO camps are also being counted, he added.
He claimed the State is :returning to normalcy and people have begun to help and rescue each other”. To substantiate his claims, he said two persons were rescued by the Young Paite Association and another two by the Kuki Student Organisation in Churachandpur and handed over to security forces. One person was rescued by Imphal police and villagers, he said.
Signaling that things need to be looked into much deeper, the Coordinating Committee of Clubs and Meira Paibis of south-eastern Manipur has alleged that the prevailing communal clashes in the State was instigated by “illegal immigrants who had been planning the attack for 40 years”.
The reference is possibly to the tribals obviously.
The protesters displayed slogans which read, ‘Don’t break the territorial integrity of Manipur,’ ‘Separate Kuki Homeland cannot be given in Manipur’ and ‘Implement NRC in Manipur’, reported Imphal Free Press.
The Coordinating Committee of Clubs and Meira Paibis of south-eastern Manipur, along with Nongpok Lallup, Meitrabak, took out a massive ‘Peace Rally Against Illegal Immigrants in Manipur’ at Thoubal District Headquarters on Saturday.
Reports also said that among the displaced, those staying at Yairipok Angtha and Yambem area in Thoubal district of Manipur have raised concerns about their livelihood and have sought permanent measures for displaced people.
“We are thankful for the assistance that people provided us with but the question which worries us is, how long will the help keep going?” said one villager staying at a relief camp in Angtha Sinam Leikai Meira Shang, local media reports said.
Another staying at Yairipok Yambem High school relief camp urged authorities to enact permanent measures for displaced people.