Manipur Ethnic Unrest Triggers Mass Exodus, Igniting Concerns About Community Safety and Security

Approximately 120 to 125 individuals from Rajasthan were stranded in Manipur. 51 of them were rescued, and the government is currently working to evacuate the remaining persons.
Manipur Ethnic Unrest Triggers Mass Exodus, Igniting Concerns About Community Safety and Security

The ethnic unrest and violence in Manipur have instilled fear and uncertainty among the people, causing panic as they strive to find safe locations. Despite efforts by the government to restore normalcy, the situation remains tense, leading to many individuals seeking to move to safer locations. The fear and insecurity have disrupted normal life, causing further distress to the affected communities. The internet ban has been extended till May 13.

Several states have been racing to evacuate their students and people stranded in Manipur since the outbreak of violence on May 3.

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister N Biren Singh announced a high-level inquiry into the causes and responsibility for the violence. He also stated that action will be taken against officers who failed to perform their duties.

The chief minister said that some 35, 655 people including 1593 students have been moved to safer locations.

The state government also announced a compensation package for those affected by the clashes. Families of the deceased will receive 5 lakh rupees as ex-gratia, while those severely injured will receive 2 lakh rupees and those with minor injuries will receive 25 thousand rupees. In addition, the government has assured affected families of burnt houses that they will be granted two lakh rupees and that all burnt houses will be rebuilt by the government.

Manipur Ethnic Unrest Triggers Mass Exodus, Igniting Concerns About Community Safety and Security
Manipur Ethnic Unrest Triggers Mass Exodus, Igniting Concerns About Community Safety and Security

Violent clashes erupted between tribespeople and members of the majority Meitei community in Manipur last Wednesday. It has resulted in 60 fatalities, 231 injuries according to official reports. Unofficial sources have suggested that the death toll could be above 100 and the number of wounded is approximately 200. Some 1700 homes were torched.

The clashes were triggered after a 'Tribal Solidarity March' in the state's 10 hill districts, which was organised to protest the Meitei community's demands for Scheduled Tribe status. The long-standing demand of the Meiteis has been met with resistance by some tribal groups who fear loss of their benefits and forest land. The situation in Manipur remains tense, and government efforts are ongoing to restore normalcy and ensure the safety of all affected communities.

Special Flights, Helpline numbers & Whatsapp Groups

To ensure the safety of their citizens stranded in Manipur, the governments of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Jharkhand and Uttarakhand have been moving swiftly to bring them back home.

Special flights have been arranged, and efforts are being made to provide food and lodging facilities to the stranded people. The state governments are coordinating with each other as well as with the Centre to ensure that the evacuation process runs smoothly.

The state governments have arranged special flights to bring back their citizens safely. The aim is to minimize the danger to the stranded people and get them back home as soon as possible. The situation is being closely monitored by the authorities, and efforts are being made to restore stability and normalcy in Manipur.

51 students have been brought home safely by Rajasthan government
51 students have been brought home safely by Rajasthan government

51 students return safely to Rajasthan

The Rajasthan Government arranged two special flights on Monday evening to repatriate 51 students who were stranded in violence-hit Manipur. The students were provided with boarding and lodging facilities by the government upon their return. The first flight, which arrived via Kolkata from Imphal, carried 26 students and landed at Jaipur Airport on Monday night. The second flight, bringing another 25 students, arrived later. The returning students reported that there is continuous tension in Manipur, which has resulted in the closure of their colleges and universities.

Gajanand Chhipa, a student at the Central Agricultural University Imphal, expressed gratitude to the government for their assistance in ensuring his safe return home. He said everything was so scary and since the internet services had been suspended , the communication became even difficult .

Another student Naresh Bishnoi noted the diligence and helpfulness of government officials. Naresh said an official even called him at 3AM to confirm his travel arrangements. Students who have returned home report that they did not need to spend any money, as the government provided them with free travel and lodging, including food during the transit period.

Mahendra Jhundadia, a student of Nagore, expressed concern over the current situation in Manipur, saying that people are scared to leave their homes due to the prevailing unrest. The violence has disrupted normal life, and safety concerns are at an all-time high.

Manipur Ethnic Unrest Triggers Mass Exodus, Igniting Concerns About Community Safety and Security
Manipur Violence: Complex Tangle of Ethnic Conflict, Illegal Immigration, and Insurgency Amid Meitei Community's ST Demand

Ritu Nirvan, a student of Central Agriculture University Imphal who hails from Kotputli, spoke about the assistance provided by the Rajasthan government's helpline number in facilitating the safe return of the stranded students.

Yogesh, a B.Tech student from IIIT Imphal said that officials had held dialogues and assured safe home return to the students which came as a big relief in the distressful time. Patrolling teams escorted them to the airport and hence they reached safely.

Families of the students were relieved to hear about the government's efforts and were in constant touch with their children to remain updated about their safety and whereabouts.

The Bikaner House Resident Commissioner's Office, in coordination with the Rajasthan Foundation, has established helpline numbers for the individuals requiring assistance or information. The Resident Commissioner's Office is collaborating with the Ministry of Home Affairs and local authorities to provide support and make necessary arrangements for the stranded Rajasthanis affected by the ethnic unrest. The state government has urged the stranded individuals to remain confined in safe houses and avoid getting into a state of panic as the situation in Manipur is not conducive.

Shubhra Singh, the Chief Resident Commissioner of Rajasthan, confirmed that the government has supported the travellers, many of whom are believed to be students. Approximately 120 to 125 individuals from the state were stranded in Manipur, and the government is striving to evacuate others as well.

Supreme Court's Directions

The Supreme Court on May 8, directed both the Union and Manipur governments to take appropriate measures to improve security and provide relief and rehabilitation to those affected by the ethnic violence in the state.

The bench, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) D.Y. Chandrachud, issued the directive after considering the submissions made by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who represented both governments, that no violence had been reported in the past two days.

The apex court has directed the centre and the Manipur government to submit a status report within ten days. The matter is scheduled to be heard again on May 17.

Over 1,000 Displaced People Seek Shelter in Mizoram

According to media reports, officials from the state home department believe, number of internally displaced people (IDP) who have fled Manipur and sought refuge in Mizoram has exceeded 1,000, and more may arrive in the future. Kolasib district, situated on the Assam border, has provided shelter to the largest number of displaced individuals, with over 750 arriving there on Monday. The IDPs, which include many elderly, women, and children, fled from Manipur's Churachandpur district and have either joined their relatives and friends in Mizoram or been assigned temporary housing in vacant buildings. To assist those who have been affected by the ethnic clashes in Manipur, relief camps are being established in several villages.

According to a US-based researcher hailing from the tribal community, many people from his tribe who reside in Imphal have been forced to abandon their vehicles while fleeing to escape being attacked by rival mobs. Vehicles belonging to members of his tribe can be seen burned on the side of the Mary Kom road. The researcher described the situation as unbearable to witness.

Overcrowded Imphal Airport Strands Nearly 2,000 Passengers

As per a Tuesday PTI report, close to 2,000 passengers, including young children, critically ill patients, and pregnant women, are stranded at Imphal airport as Manipur experiences ethnic unrest. The airport has been unable to accommodate the huge number of passengers, with the terminal buildings designed to hold only 750 people at a time - 250 for arrivals and 500 for departures.

Many who are stranded require urgent medical attention and treatment. Despite the additional flights that airlines have arranged for the stranded passengers, the queues continue to grow due to the deployment of army personnel in the area. Officials say the airport is now being managed with minimal support. Employees from the Airports Authority of India (AAI), various airline staff, and airport doctors are working continuously to ease the situation. However, the closure of shops outside the airport has prompted AAI officials to seek essential supplies from nearby facilities in Guwahati, Agartala, and Dibrugarh.

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