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Manipur: Jiribam Has 943 IDPs in Relief Camps; Cabinet Subcommittee For Resettlement Proposed

Recent violence in Jiribam district has displaced local residents, including those belonging to the Meitei and Kuki communities. Some of the displaced have also sought refuge in the neighbouring Cachar district of Assam.
Representative image. A camp housing those displaced by the Manipur violence in Imphal East camp. Photo: Yaqut Ali/The Wire

New Delhi: A total of 943 internally displaced persons are seeking refuge in relief camps in Manipur’s Jiribam district, the Imphal Free Press cited the office of Jiribam’s deputy commissioner as saying on Wednesday (June 12).

Recent violence in the district, triggered by the discovery of a dead Meitei man, has displaced local residents including those belonging to the Meitei and Kuki communities, which have been involved in an armed ethnic conflict in Manipur since May last year.

Others also sought refuge in the adjoining Cachar district of Assam, with The Hindu citing local authorities on Monday as saying that more than 600 people from Jiribam had fled to Cachar.

Chief minister N. Biren Singh held a cabinet meeting on Thursday and said the government resolved to form a cabinet subcommittee for the rehabilitation and resettlement of internally displaced people.

Jiribam had reportedly been one of Manipur’s relatively calm areas until the recent spate of violence.

The Hindu reported that locals found the body of a dead Meitei farmer on June 6, after which some of them gathered in front of a police station and demanded they be allowed to arm themselves.

Soon after, Meitei and Kuki people reported attacks on their homes.

Tens of homes, two police outposts and a forest beat office were torched by ‘suspected militants’ late last week, and an advance convoy making preparations for chief minister Singh’s visit to Jiribam was ambushed on Monday.

Meitei organisations have continued to accuse Union government security forces of adverse bias, with some saying in the wake of the violence in Jiribam that they were evacuating Meiteis instead of protecting them.

Sporadic violence continues to take place in other parts of the state. Intermittent firing was reported from areas near the border between the Imphal East and Kangpokpi districts on Wednesday.

Over 200 people have been killed and more than 50,000 have been displaced by the ethnic strife in Manipur, which began in May 2023 when a protest march – held by Kukis against attempts to grant Scheduled Tribe status to the state’s Meiteis – was attacked.

Segregation between the Meiteis and Kukis reached near-complete levels and the two communities became physically separated by buffer zones patrolled by security forces.

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