Manipuris Become Refugees In Own Country, Rush To Assam For Safety

Fresh violence broke out in Jiribam in the ethnic strife-torn state on Thursday, June 6.

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Manipur, Assam, violence, Silchar, Manipur Strife, Manipur violence, Cachar district, Jiribam, Lakhipur, Jirighat, Kaushik Rai, Meiteis, Muslims, Nagas, Kukis
Imphal East: Security forces personnel during their joint search operations in Bishnupur and Imphal East districts of Manipur, Friday, June 7, 2024. Acting on specific information, the joint operations led to the recovery and seizure of significant quantities of arms, ammunition and explosive devices. (PTI Photo)

Manipur Strife: According to the latest news coming in from the restive northeastern state of Manipur, people affected by fresh incidents of violence in the state have started arriving in Assam’s Cachar district in search of safety. The news was shared by a local MLA on Monday while a police officer said that security along the inter-state border has been tightened.

Jiribam Incident

Two police outposts, a forest beat office and at least 70 houses were torched in Jiribam by suspected militants on Saturday, leading to fresh tension in the neighbouring state which has been witnessing ethnic violence since May last year.

People residing in the bordering areas claim that about 600 people have taken shelter in various parts of Lakhipur in the Cachar district, entering Assam by crossing the Jiri River over the last four days.

No Government Help Yet

They are taking shelter in villages at Jirighat and Lakhipur, though no government relief camp has been opened for them, they said.

“The people who have come from Manipur are being allowed to stay here safely. The local administration is taking all steps to ensure no spread of any violence here,” Lakhipur MLA Kaushik Rai said while talking to news agency PTI.

Forces Deployed In Border Areas

Cachar Superintendent of Police Nomal Mahatto said that police and other security forces have been deployed in the border areas.

“There are no reports of any untoward incident in Cachar so far. Police patrolling in Jirighat on the border as well as along the national highway and nearby villages is being conducted,” he told PTI.

Mahatto said that the situation on the Assam side is completely under control and the police are keeping a strict vigil following the violence in Jiribam.

Jiribam Was Unaffected By Ethnic Strife

Jiribam, which has a diverse ethnic composition of Meiteis, Muslims, Nagas, Kukis and non-Manipuris, had so far remained unaffected by the ethnic strife that has been raging in the northeastern state since May last year.

The MLA said that most of the people who have entered Cachar are Kukis and Hmars.

The ethnic conflict between Imphal valley-based Meiteis and hill-based Kukis began in May last year and led to the deaths of over 200 people, besides rendering thousands of people homeless.

Militant Activity

Suspected militants burnt down two police outposts, a forest office, and at least 70 houses in Manipur’s Jiribam district on Saturday, 8 June 2024, following which the Superintendent Of Police was transferred. A contingent of more than 70 state police commandos was airlifted from Imphal to Jiribam to assist security personnel in their operations against militants.

Violence broke out in Jiribam in the ethnic strife-torn state on Thursday, June 6 evening after suspected militants killed a 59-year-old man.

(With PTI inputs)

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