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212 Who Fled Manipur Return From Myanmar, Chief Minister Thanks Army

Over 180 have died and thousands internally displaced amid the ethnic violence in Manipur

Imphal:

Over 200 Indians who fled to neighbouring Myanmar from the border town Moreh in Manipur when ethnic violence broke out on May 3 have safely returned home, Chief Minister N Biren Singh said today in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

Mr Singh thanked the Indian Army for bringing the Indians – all of them from the Meitei community – home safely.

“Relief and gratitude as 212 fellow Indian citizens (all Meiteis) who sought safety across the Myanmar border post the May 3rd unrest in Moreh town of Manipur, are now safely back on Indian soil,” Mr Singh said in the post.

“A big shout-out to the Indian Army for their dedication in bringing them home. Sincere gratitude to GOC Eastern Command, Lt Gen. RP Kalita, GOC 3 Corp, Lt Gen. HS Sahi and CO of 5 AR, Col. Rahul Jain for their unwavering service,” the Chief Minister said.

Moreh, about 110 km from the state capital Imphal, was one of the worst hit areas when violence flared up in Churachandpur district on May 3 after a protest rally by the hill-majority Kuki-Zo-Chin tribes over the valley-majority Meiteis’ demand for Scheduled Tribes (ST) status.

Moreh had a mixed population of Kukis, Meiteis and even Tamils, whose roots go back to colonial times, and thousands from other communities.

The Chief Minister did not say whether the Meiteis are back to whatever is left of their properties in Moreh, or they have been shifted to Imphal valley.

Following the outbreak of the ethnic clash, the Kuki-Zo-Chin tribes have been demanding a separate administration to be carved out of Manipur, saying it is impossible to co-exist with the Meiteis anymore.

A section of the Meiteis who used to live in Kuki-majority hill areas, however, have demanded to be sent home with security.

With the security forces maintaining what they call “buffer zones” – sensitive areas where Meiteis and Kukis can’t cross – there is no certain timeline about the return of internally displaced people to the hills and the valley.



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