More than 200 Meiteis, who sought refuge in Myanmar to evade violence in Manipur, reunite with the state: Chief Minister

More than 200 Meiteis, who sought refuge in Myanmar to evade violence in Manipur, reunite with the state: Chief Minister

Imphal - In the wake of relentless and severe turmoil within Manipur, a group of more than 200 Indian citizens, all of Meitei ethnicity, who had sought refuge across the border in neighboring Myanmar, have now safely returned home. Chief Minister N Biren Singh shared this significant development via a tweet on Friday. He explained that these individuals had fled from Moreh, a border town in Manipur, to Myanmar when ethnic violence erupted on May 3. The Chief Minister expressed his gratitude towards the Indian Army for their efforts in successfully repatriating these Indian citizens.

The Chief Minister underscored that all of the individuals who have returned belong to the Meitei community. He wrote, "Relief and gratitude as 212 fellow Indian citizens (all Meiteis), who sought safety across the Myanmar border post the unrest in Manipur’s Moreh town on May 3, are now safely back on Indian soil."

He further extended his appreciation to the Indian Army for their unwavering commitment in facilitating their safe return. In his message, the Chief Minister recognized GOC Eastern Command, Lt Gen RP Kalita, GOC 3 Corp, Lt Gen HS Sahi, and CO of 5 AR, Col Rahul Jain, for their exceptional service.

When the outbreak of violence occurred in Manipur on May 3, the town of Moreh, located around 110 km from the capital Imphal, experienced some of the most severe consequences. Moreh hosts a diverse population comprising Kuki, Meitei, and even Tamil communities, with historical ties tracing back to the colonial era.

The violence initially erupted in Churachandpur district on May 3 as a result of a protest rally by the hill-majority Kuki-jo-Chin tribes against the valley-majority Meitei community. The trigger for this unrest was a "tribal solidarity march" held in the hill districts to protest the demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status for the Meitei community in the state.

Since then, more than 160 lives have been lost in the state due to the ongoing conflict. The Meiteis constitute approximately 53 percent of Manipur's total population and primarily inhabit the Imphal Valley, whereas the tribal Naga and Kuki communities make up around 40 percent and primarily inhabit the hill districts.

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