The villagers of Dolaithabi have urged the state and Centre to allow them to enter their villages instead of declaring it as a buffer zone and to construct permanent houses at their village that was burned down during the clash.
Following the clash that erupted on May 3, around 35 houses in Dolaithabi village were reportedly burned down with about 139 villagers staying at various relief camps since then.
One of the villagers, Puthem Muhindro, told the media on Friday at the Manipur Press Club in Majorkhul, Imphal, that in May when the clash erupted, the villagers were evacuated from the village to nearby villages to save their lives.
He said most of the villagers are staying at different relief camps opened at Khundrakpam assembly constituency and that he is staying at a relief camp opened at NB College, Khundrakpam in Imphal East district.
Muhindro said their houses, granaries and wood piles (domestic use) were burned down on different days in May. During the early days of the clash, combined forces were deployed, including state forces; however, after a few days, 18 Assam Rifles declared a buffer zone starting from the Dolaithabi Dam and no villagers were allowed to enter the buffer zone, he added.
“We want to return to our village and we want peace. Allow us to enter our village by removing the buffer zone tag,” said Muhindro.
Dolaithabi village is around 2 km from the Kuki villages and in between, the Meitei villages and Kuki villages, other communities such as the Nepalese live. He urged the state and central governments to allow the villagers of Dolaithabi to enter their villages and to construct permanent houses at their villages instead of prefabricated houses which are constructed for displaced people.