The Manipur government is planning to bring Meiteis via special ATR flights that run between Aizawl-Imphal and Aizawl-Silchar. After PAMRA (the Peace Accord MNF Returnees’ Association, an organisation comprising the former militants in Mizoram) requested Meiteis residing in Mizoram to leave the state for their safety, the government is planning to bring people as a precautionary measure.
The organisation held that there is ‘anger among Mizo youths’ over the incident that took place in May and came to the attention of people on Wednesday. The video of two women being disrobed and sexually assaulted that shook the entire country has led to the condition of airlifting people. The incident took place on May 4, in Kangpokpi district of Manipur, one day after the violence started in the northeastern state. A complaint filed with the police stated that a group of 5 people were kidnapped by a mob.
Among the group, three women were stripped naked in front of the mob. The complaint also said that a 19-year-old girl was gang-raped and her brother was murdered when he intervened, trying to save her. Further, the women were paraded naked and were also forced to dance in front of everyone. The mob of hundreds of men burnt down houses and harassed these women belonging to the Kuki community.
The ongoing conflict between Kukis and Meiteis has had a grasp over the state for over two months, has taken the lives of more than 160 people and many have been injured severely. The violence is a result of the ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ organised by the Kukis in the hill districts against the metis demand for ‘Scheduled Tribe (ST) status’.
A war veteran who fought for the country in the Kargil war came out saying that his wife is among the victims of ‘Manipur horror’ and that his ‘home’ has turned more dangerous than the battlefield he was involved in. He also gave a statement saying that the police were present but took no action against the culprits. Five accused have been arrested to date.
Along with this incident, another that made headlines was the brutal assault and murder of two more young women who were working at a car crash in the Konung Mamang area of the Imphal East district. They were reportedly assaulted by a group of people that included some women who ‘encouraged’ men to take these women inside rooms and sexually assault them, a male co-worker, as well as a witness to the incident, informed The Times of India.
The victims were allegedly taken inside a room with lights switched off and their mouths were filled with clothes to stop them from screaming. After going through the sexual assault for more than an hour, their bodies were dumped into a nearby sawmill. No one has been arrested in this case till now.
These incidents have given rise to a serious security threat for the Meiteis residing in the northeast. Although the dates for the evacuation process haven’t been announced yet, the Manipur government has planned to use special flights to airlift Meiteis for their safety. The Mizoram government has requested the Meiteis to refrain from believing the rumours, provided them with reassurances regarding their security, and Mizoram police strengthened the security arrangements.
Even though the Mizoram government is putting a lot of effort to assure the community as the state home commissioner and secretary H Lalengmawia also held a meeting with the leaders, some Meiteis have already started leaving Mizoram. Reportedly, around 65 people from the community had left the state by flight. Furthermore, the next flight from Aizawl to Imphal on Monday has been entirely booked.