Manipur violence: Sources in the Mizoram government have said steps have already been taken to ensure that no Meitei person is harmed.
Guwahati: Following a public call by former Mizoram insurgents to people from the Meitei community to leave the state, the government of Mizoram has arranged for security cover for Meiteis in the capital Aizawl.
In a statement issued from Aizawl on Friday, Peace Accord MNF Returnees’ Association (PAMRA) said, Meiteis should leave Mizoram for their “own safety” as there is “anger among Mizo youth” over the incident of two women being paraded naked in the neighbouring ethnic strife-torn state.
Mizo sentiments have been deeply hurt by the violence meted out to the Zo-ethnic community in Manipur, PAMRA said, adding a warning that if any violence should happen upon Meiteis in Mizoram, they themselves shall bear the responsibility.
“The situation in Mizoram has become tense, and it is no longer safe for Meitei people from Manipur to live in Mizoram in the wake of barbaric and heinous acts committed by miscreants in Manipur…The PAMRA appeals to all Meitei people in Mizoram to leave for their home state as a safety measure,” the statement read.
Sources in the Mizoram government have said steps have already been taken to ensure that no Meitei person is harmed.
In a telephonic conversation, Chief Minister Zoramthanga had earlier assured his Manipur counterpart N Biren Singh of the safety of Meiteis in Mizoram.
The Manipur government again had a round of discussions with Mizoram and the Centre after this development, sources said.
A video shot on May 4 surfaced on Wednesday, showing two women from one of the warring communities in Manipur being paraded naked and molested by a mob from the other side. The alleged main accused was arrested on Thursday. The incident has drawn widespread condemnation across the country.
The former militants’ statement said there is anger among Mizo youths, who are deeply anguished over the “barbaric and atrocious act of Meiteis” against Zo or Kuki ethnic people in Manipur, who share ancestry with the Mizos.
They said the appeal was only for Meiteis from Manipur and not those from elsewhere.
Thousands of Meiteis, including students, mostly from Manipur and Assam, live in Mizoram.
Over 12,000 Kukis displaced from Manipur have also reportedly taken shelter in the northeastern state, which is Christian-dominated. Kukis are also mostly Christians.
PAMRA is a non-political organisation of former Mizo National Front (MNF) militants seeking implementation of all clauses of the Mizo Peace Accord.
More than 160 people have lost their lives and several injured since ethnic violence broke out in the state on May 3, when a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.
Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur’s population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley, while tribals, which include Nagas and Kukis, constitute 40 per cent and reside mostly in the hill districts.