Violence and arson have been affecting parts of Manipur since May 3, 2023. At present, in the Christian-dominated district of Churachandpur, out of more than 5,000 Meitei/Hindu Sanamahi, only 500 have been evacuated. In several parts of Kangpokpi another Christian-dominated district, several Meitei houses have been burned down by Kuki militants at Ikou, Motbung, Dolaithabi, and other areas, stated a joint statement issued by the Peoples’ Alliance for Peace and Progress Manipur (PAPPM) and the Delhi Manipuri Society.
Thousands of Meiteis escaped from the arsonists and armed Kukis are taking refuge at different parts of Imphal, the PAPPM mentioned.
In the course of the ensuing violence, Kuki militants have destroyed Shiva Temple at Koubru of Kangpokpi district and several Sanamahi abodes, including household deities across the state, it stated.
Kuki militants are currently in Suspension of Operation (SoO) with the Government of India and Manipur Government, it mentioned.
Equally, in the Moreh town of Tengnoupal, a Christian-dominated district, almost every Meitei house, shop, hotel and vehicle have been burned down by armed Kukis, it stated. Few Meitei survivors are taking refuge in Maynmar and the rests of Assam Rifles Camp at Khudengthabi.
So far, none of them have been evacuated to safer places as Kuki militants have dug out a large canal at Kudengthabi on the Asian Highway No 1 to cut off transportation and rescue mission, it added.
Their lives are at stake, it stated, adding that the Kuki militants armed with sophisticated weapons hiding in trenches and bunkers are preventing the entry of Indian military forces to evacuate the Meiteis. In other words, none of them have been evacuated so far, it mentioned.
The rest is under hostage of armed Kuki civilians supported by Kuki militants. Every house in the Meitei’s settlements area, established in 250 AD during the reign of Khoyum Tompok, has been burned down by well-armed Kuki civilians and militants.
The Meiteis have become homeless refugees in their own ancestral land and taking refuge at the DC office of Churachandpur District Headquarters, it further stated.
It maintained that the present SoO agreement has facilitated illegal poppy cultivation and drug manufacturing for revenue generation. This narco-terrorism has strengthened the Kuki-SoO groups in leaps and bounds.
The SoO agreement has also strengthened them, further giving them unlimited mobility and the opportunity to arm themselves with sophisticated weapons, it stated. The present violent crisis, in the final analysis, is orchestrated by the Kuki militants and their funded politicians-bureaucrats clique to have a definite area of land, which they can claim as their own.
It has nothing to do with the demand for inclusion of Meitei/Meetei in the ST list of India, it added.