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Imphal's Kuki Residents Who Were Evacuated Say Homes Taken Over by Militia

Police say they are taking action against the illegal occupation of abandoned home.
A photo of the tribal market in New Lambulane, in Manipur. Photo: Yaqut Ali

New Delhi: Kuki families who were evacuated from their homes in Imphal by security forces in September last year say their residences have now been taken over “armed militia”. These houses, in the New Lambulane area, are now “illegally occupied”, they told The Times of India.

Church official S. Prim Vaiphei, one of the people evacuated, told the newspaper, “This illegal occupation of our houses is happening under the noses of Imphal East district administration and central security forces.”

Vaiphei said this was a violation of the Supreme Court’s order telling the authorities to safeguard the properties of those displaced due to the ethnic violence that began on May 3.

As The Wire has reported, the last Kuki families who remained in Imphal, in the New Lambulane area, had accused the authorities of forcibly evacuating them on September 2 last year. A total of 24 individuals from the Kuki community were evacuated from New Lambulane on that day, including infants and people in need of regular hospital checkups.

Imphal East DSP K. Meghachandra Singh told The Times of India that the police had taken steps to stop the takeover of properties after “receiving inputs about some people trying to take over some abandoned houses in New Lambulane”.

“These people say they have been living in relief camps and want to shift to better places such as abandoned houses. We sent officers to the location and did not allow anyone to do so,” Singh said, adding that the police was carrying out a survey to see if any abandoned houses were being illegally occupied.

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