Leimaram Waroiching villagers seek safe return to village for cultivation amid unrest

‘If we don’t cultivate this year, we’ll starve next year,’ a stranded woman of Leimaram Waroiching village staying at a relief camp in the wake of the unrest in Manipur.

ByThomas Ngangom

Updated 3 Jul 2023, 7:52 am

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With agriculture as their main source of income and livelihood, the villagers of Leimaram Waroiching in violence-hit Manipur, who fled thier homes amid the recent ethnic violence, have urged the state government and concerned authorities to make arrangements for their safe return to their village so that they can start farming activities or else, they would starve in the coming year.

Following the unprecedented widespread ethnic communal clash between the Meitei and Kuki communities in several districts of the state since May 3, most of the villagers settled in the periphery areas of Imphal, especially the adjoining areas of low lying hills and valleys, have taken to shelter homes and relief camps. Driven by fear of attacks by armed miscreants, most of the villagers have fled their homes, according to sources.

Among such are members of 83 households of Leimaram Waroiching village in Bishnupur district who have been internally displaced and are staying at a relief camp located at Leimaram Government High School in Bishnupur district.

A 57-year-old stranded person named Leimapokpam Leirentombi told mediapersons that they have been taking shelter at Leimaram Government High School, Bishnupur district following the outbreak of ethnic violence.


She explained that Leimaram Waroiching is surrounded by 4 (Four) Kuki villages namely, Mongbung, Loibon Khunou, Sadar Joute and Tingkai Khunou. Although the Meitei community is a major community in the state, it is the minor community in Leimaram Waroiching area, she said, adding that they left their village out of fear of possible attack by Kuki militants.

Although there has been no gunfight in the area since the communal violence erupted, she said that they can hear gunshots from the nearby hills at night.

Another refugee at the camp, 53-year-old Leichombam Thasana (53), informed that the population of Leimaram Waroiching is barely around 345 with most of them stranded and staying at the relief camp.

Most of the people of the village belong to scheduled caste and are tenant farmers, rearing cattle, pigs for their livelihood, she said, lamenting that they have left all their cattle and pigs behind as and are now stranded in the relief camp since the violence began.

However, upon informing and requesting, the Gurkha personnel, who are posted in the area to protect the village, secured the area thus giving time to the villagers to feed their cattle and pigs in the morning from 6 am to 10 am, she added.

Being tenant farmers, the villagers of Leimaram Waroiching survive by selling their agricultural products and provide for their children’s education with the earnings from the products.


“If the state government or the concerned authorities fail to take necessary steps to help us return to our village by July 15, then we will not be able to harvest any crops for next year,” lamented Thasana.

One 43-year-old Ningthoujam Ranjana said the local club and Meira Paibis of Leimaram village and other areas are providing necessary assistance to the stranded people.

For children and students stranded at the relief camps, the locals of the area teach the students and children with Zonal Education Office (ZEO), Bishnupur, providing some text books from class one to ten, she informed.

Ranjana appealed to the concerned authorities to provide textbooks for the stranded students of class XI and XII.

She also appealed to the state and central governments to take necessary steps to bring peace and harmony in Manipur at the earliest.


First published:


cultivationmanipur violencerelief campsinternally displaced personsLeimaram Waroiching

Thomas Ngangom

Thomas Ngangom

IFP reporter, IMPHAL, Manipur


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