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Manipur: Public Representatives Should Come Forward

Manipur has completed one year of the ongoing caste violence,  but even after a year of the violence, tensions continue between the Meitei and Kuki communities in the state. 

So far, about 226 people have died in this caste violence that started on May 3 last year. 

Those killed have been identified as 20 women and eight children. More than 1,500 people have been injured and around 60,000 are forced to live in relief camps.

Within the first week of the conflict beginning, there was widespread arson and violence. 

Meitei people living in Kuki-Zomi dominated areas like Churachandpur, Kangpokpi and Moreh were moved to the Meitei-majority valley. 

Kuki-Jomi and other Meitei-dominated areas in Imphal were evacuated to Churachandpur and Kangpokpi, while many people fled the state to neighboring Mizoram or elsewhere in the country.

A senior police officer told  that the spread of violence has declined slightly over time. However, after April 13, the fire of violence flared up again.

These include the killing of two people in Kangpokpi district and the killing of two CRPF jawans in an attack on a CRPF post in Bishnupur district.

If we now talk about the law and order of the state, then the situation is so bad that the state CM N Biren Singh has not even been able to go to Kuki-Jomi area to assess the loss of life and property. 

The society has completely disintegrated here. Be it offices or hospitals, no government system is visible anywhere.

An officer stressed that only representatives of the public would have to come forward for talks. 

He said that we can easily deal with extremist organizations. But for that the public will not have to come in between. 

The officer also said that if people intervene, people may suffer huge losses. 

Referring to an incident that took place earlier this week, the officer said that a large number of women freed 11 people detained by the army and not only this but also demanded the return of the weapons seized from them. 

The biggest challenge is getting the right health care for people suffering from chronic disease. Despite the government health scheme, people suffering from cancer and diabetes are not getting proper treatment. 

Even after getting treatment, a lot of money has to be spent from one's own pocket. Many times people resort to donations in situations like surgery. 

People say that the government should work on expanding health facilities.

Muan Tombing, secretary of the Indigenous Tribal Leaders Forum, said the Center is well aware that we cannot live together under one administration. 

Our issue has to be resolved. This is the way forward and we will continue to insist on it. There can be no compromise of any kind. It is very clear that the Manipur government will not do anything about it, but we will continue to press our political demand with the central government, while we continue to protect our land. 

On the other hand, Khuraizam Athouba, spokesperson of COCOMI, an organization representing Meitei interests, said the only way forward for the Center is to take a tough stance with the Kuki-Zomi rebel groups. Also, the ceasefire agreement with them is to be suspended.