Inmates of relief centres opened at Nungoo and Chairel Makha Leikai in Kakching district, Manipur have been living with zero financial income and lack of support from the government.
Inmate Ningthoujam Ichan Devi of Chandonpokpi, Kumbi AC who has been taking shelter in the relief camp condemned the government for failing to support them. The government’s initiative for relief camp inmates to have a source of income failed to reach their relief camps and it has taken a toll on the inmates, she said.
“We have been suffering as we have zero source of income in the relief camp. We have to drink water from a polluted river where dead animals were dumped. We have been living in the relief camp with great suffering after leaving behind our homes. We ran for our lives after the Kuki militants launched attacks on the Meitei villages,” Ichan said.
As many as 140 women inmates of the relief camp urged the government to organise training programmes in their relief camp and provide them a way of living.
Speaking to the Imphal Free Press, Ichan said that the fields of Chandolpokpi have been dominated by the Kukis and agricultural activities were also halted in the area. We do not get any additional benefits from the government rather than the food items, she added.
She appealed to the government to conduct training programmes for the inmates to make agarbatti, soaps and candles to provide for themselves. She said that they have been living life like hell as they don’t have any source of income and cannot even go to the hospital to treat themselves when they are sick. Some of the inmates felt sick after drinking water from the polluted water, she mentioned.
“It was the intervening night of May 27 and 28 when the Kukis started attacking the Meitei houses of Napat, Tangjeng Ahallup by firing gunshots and burning down houses. The Meiteis of the villages started to flee to safer places and it was almost dawn when they reached Nungoo. They have been taking shelter in the relief camp since then,” another inmate Irom Momon of Tangjeng Ahallup Borayangbi, Kumbi AC said.
Longing to go back to her hometown and live peacefully with her family, Momon said that they do not want to live in the relief camps anymore. She said that her family has been divided in different relief camps, they did not own a single grain of rice now and all their properties have been emptied out by the Kukis. She appealed to the government to let them return back to their respective homes.
Ningthoujam Tombileima Chandolpokpi Thambal Leikai recalled that women, children and elderly people of the village fled to safer places after the Kukis launched an attack on the village on May 28. The Kukis set ablaze the houses of Napat village but failed to reach the houses of Chandolpokpi village and they started building bunkers in the border areas of Chandolpokpi, she added.
She said that they have demanded the authorities concerned to look into the matter but failed to destroy the bunkers. BSF have been deployed in the area and they were allowed in the villages during daytime but refrained them from entering at night, Tombileima mentioned.
“Inmates have been living a difficult life with all the inadequacies. Some of us have been sleeping on the floor by using a piece of cloth as a mattress. The government should take up every possible step to let the displaced people return back to their respective homes,” she added.