Home and Hearth

The grand design of creating a sharp division must not be allowed to succeed and the refugees must be allowed to return to their original home and hearth.

ByIFP Bureau

Updated 24 May 2023, 4:58 am

(Photo: IFP)
(Photo: IFP)


Nearly 40 thousand internally displaced people are still languishing in several relief camps spread across the state as a result of the present communal conflict which still shows no signs of respite.

Every other day, armed militants continue to take pot-shots at villages near the foothills creating fear and insecure in their own homes and even sometimes attacking the relief camps itself.

The act of cutting off the water supply pipelines in the adjoining hills by militants is in fact inhumane and dastardly and it is yet to be restored.

The relief camps are opened in almost all the districts where district officials are working overtime to ensure food, drinking water and security.

Clubs and organisations get together and come up with donations of clothes and food items to help those in the camps, while groups of MLAs visit the camps and try to make amends with help and deliver a semblance of care and hope from the government.

However, life in the relief camps is difficult and with most communication facilities with family members and relatives cut off as a precautionary measure.


A pregnant woman from Moreh staying in one of the relief camps gave birth to a child. While many of the camps face shortage of drinking water and basic amenities, health and hygiene is of main concern.

A few private hospitals have come up with the idea of organising health camps, but it is just not enough considering the prevailing situation where most of the relief camps are overcrowded.

Most important of all, it is the collective trauma and state of mental health among the refugees especially among the small children who have had to bear witness to parents and relatives beaten up or killed and being on the run from the marauding mobs assisted by armed militants.

While telecom services are dismal, the internet still cut-off from the reach of common man except for important government offices and facilities.

Curfew is still in place restricting movement of the general public although it had been relaxed for a duration of 10 to 11 hours during day-time.

These restrictions have made life in the camps more difficult. However, the question on the lips of everyone at the camps is when they will be able to go back to their homes and live in peace.

Will they be able to ever return home? Even as evacuation of the internally displaced persons continues, the state is yet to come up with a viable plan to rehabilitate them.

As the present communal conflict unfolded, Meitei settlements in Churachandpur and Moreh had been laid to waste while Jiribam remain largely untouched by the conflict.

While the Meiteis fled for their lives as violence and attacks began in these two towns, their houses were burnt to cinders and their properties including land had since been taken over by the Kukis while the Meitei villages settled in the foothills continue to be under perpetual threat from the Kukis settled in the fringe areas of Kangpokpi district.


Now, they are openly saying that these two towns are bereft of Meitei population.

The leikais and places from where Meiteis were driven off in Moreh and Churachandpur have been razed to the ground using JCBs and other heavy machineries while the police and district administration stood watch.

The other day, a person engaged in destruction of properties was crushed to death by a collapsing house.

Another site where the Meiteis are under constant threat is Torbung Bangla and Kangvai bordering Churachandpur district.

On the other hand, there is no move to forcibly occupy or snatch the land and properties owned by Kukis in Imphal.

While the Meiteis are not generally allowed to own land and properties in the hills, the tribals own land in Imphal and the valley. So one must be cautious in irresponsibly trumpeting the call for Meiteis to vacate their age-old home in the hills.

Well, the grand design of creating a sharp division must not be allowed to succeed and the refugees must be allowed to return to their original home and hearth.

Read More: IFP Editorial


First published:


land conflictmeiteiskukismanipur crisis

IFP Bureau

IFP Bureau

IMPHAL, Manipur


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