212 Who Fled Manipur Return From Myanmar, Chief Minister Thanks Army

N Biren Singh, the Chief Minister, has utilized the platform formerly known as Twitter, now X, to share that over 200 Indian nationals, who had taken refuge in neighboring Myanmar after ethnic turmoil flared up in the border town of Moreh in Manipur on May 3, have now been safely reunited with their homes. In expressing his appreciation, Mr. Singh conveyed his gratitude to the Indian Army for orchestrating the secure repatriation of these individuals, all of whom hail from the Meitei community.

Through his post, Mr. Singh conveyed both his relief and his commendation for the successful return of 212 Indian citizens, all of whom are Meiteis, who sought shelter across the Myanmar border following the disturbances in Moreh. He further hailed the devoted endeavors of the Indian Army in accomplishing the return of these individuals to Indian territory. Mr. Singh made a point of singling out pivotal military figures for their unwavering dedication in this endeavor, including GOC Eastern Command, Lt Gen. RP Kalita, GOC 3 Corp, Lt Gen. HS Sahi, and CO of 5 AR, Col. Rahul Jain.

Located approximately 110 km from the state capital Imphal, the town of Moreh endured significant upheaval during the eruption of violence in Churachandpur district on May 3. The turmoil followed a protest rally by the Kuki-Zo-Chin tribes, who primarily inhabit the hills, in response to the Meiteis\’ call for Scheduled Tribes (ST) status. The Meiteis, in contrast, are largely concentrated in the valley. Moreh was characterized by a diverse populace, encompassing Kukis, Meiteis, and even Tamils with historical colonial roots, in addition to members from various other communities.

The Chief Minister did not provide clarity on whether the returning Meiteis have resettled in their former residences in Moreh or whether they have been relocated to the Imphal valley.

In the wake of the ethnic conflict, the Kuki-Zo-Chin tribes have advocated for the establishment of a distinct administrative entity within Manipur, citing the impracticability of coexisting with the Meiteis. Conversely, some Meiteis who had previously inhabited Kuki-majority hill areas have sought relocation with enhanced security safeguards.

The implementation of \”buffer zones\” by security forces, delineating zones of restricted movement between Meiteis and Kukis, has introduced uncertainty regarding the timeline for the return of internally displaced individuals to both the hills and the valley.

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