New Delhi- Almost nine months have passed since the caste violence erupted between two communities in the northeastern state of Manipur in May of last year. The conflict, which started between the Kuki tribals and the Meitei, resulted in thousands of people being forced to migrate to other parts of the country. The violence claimed hundreds of lives from both communities. Despite the passage of time, the current situation in the state remains tense, with thousands of people affected by the violence still residing in relief camps.
A member of a local tribal organization from Churachandpur, a Kuki-dominated area, revealed to The Mooknayak that the displaced people are still in relief camps. They remain unable to return to their villages, as most of their houses have been reduced to ashes, leaving them without homes. The condition of women and children is equally dire. Most relief camps lack basic necessities, in addition to medical and nutritional facilities, which are sorely lacking.
He alleged, "Meiteis are still preparing for attacks, and sporadic incidents are still occurring. The state government is under the influence of Arambai Tenggol and the Center continues to heed the state government, as the BJP is in power at both levels."
A social worker from Churachandpur, speaking anonymously to The Mooknayak, informed that the number of relief camps is increasing due to the ongoing Meitei attacks, specifically from Moreh and Tengnoupal. People in the camps are surviving on government rations – rice and pulses. Their situation is pathetic, but they have no other option. Nearly 99% of the people in the camps have already lost everything. They can't go anywhere; they can't return anywhere.
She mentioned, "In the relief camps, newborns, children, women, and elderly people are all alive, but their lives are not normal as before; there is no change in situation, nothing has changed for them. There are more than 100 relief camps in Lamka of Churachandpur."
"What is alarming is that over 80 people have died in the camps due to trauma, malnutrition, major diseases/illnesses, and the lack of proper healthcare facilities and inadequate medicines," she added.
She explained that Meitei soldiers serving the Myanmar Military Junta have returned to Imphal, signing agreements with the central government. They are attacking civilians with Manipur State Commandos and fake MR IDs. Currently, both the state and central governments are occupied with drawing borders, imposing curfews, and erecting fences. The people are unaware of the hidden agenda.
Thong Thangsing, Vice President (External) of Zomi Students Federation, mentioned, "Most of those directly affected during the violence are still in camps, while some government employees were asked to move out for rent. However, some of them have returned to their homes, especially those who were not close to the buffer zone. The victims are still living in the camp whose houses and villages were completely burnt down. Women and newborn children are most affected right now."
Note: We have contacted volunteers working in relief camps in some Meitei-dominated areas of the valley region to inquire about the current situation. However, no updates were received at the time of writing this news. Information about relief camps located in Meitei-dominated areas will be updated in the news as soon as it is received.