IMPHAL, NEW DELHI May 9 (PTI): The situation across violence-hit Manipur is improving, with no fresh reports of any untoward incident, while curfew has been relaxed in all the 11 districts where it was clamped, officials said on Tuesday.
Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh had on Monday said that 60 people were killed, 231 injured and 1,700 houses including religious places burnt in the ethnic violence that rocked the northeastern state for the past few days
“The situation is improving all over the state, with no reports of violence in the last 24 hours… The curfew has been relaxed for four hours in Imphal West and Imphal East from 5 am today. Similar relaxation is being provided in the other nine affected districts,” a senior official said.
Violent clashes broke out in the northeastern state after a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the 10 hill districts on May 3 to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.
The clashes were preceded by tension over eviction of Kuki villagers from reserve forest land, which had led to a series of smaller agitations.
Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur’s population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley. Tribals – Nagas and Kukis – constitute another 40 percent of the population and reside in the hill districts.
Addressing a press conference here on Monday evening, the chief minister said that the state cabinet resolved to provide an ex gratia of Rs 5 lakh each to the families of the deceased, Rs 2 lakh each to those who suffered major injuries and Rs 25,000 each to people with minor injuries.
Singh said Rs 2 lakh will be paid to those whose houses were destroyed, and the state government will rebuild them.
“In the wake of the unfortunate incident that happened in Manipur, more than 20,000 people who were left stranded in relief camps have been moved to safety till today. Another 10,000 stranded people will be transported to safety as soon as possible…. Human lives are precious and destroying homes and properties is unacceptable,” Singh said.
The CM said 1,041 guns were looted from security force personnel, out of which 214 have been recovered.
The Manipur government has initiated many steps to bring back stranded people from different parts of the state such as Churachandpur, Ukhrul, Imphal West, Imphal East and Kangpokpi districts, he said.
Meanwhile, several members of the Meitei community are stuck in the violence-hit Churachandpur district of Manipur, its fellow members said on Tuesday at New Delhi.
People’s Alliance for Peace and Progress Manipur and Delhi Manipuri Society, organisations working for Meiteis, held a press conference in the national capital on Tuesday.
The organisations representing the predominant ethnic group of the northeast state said out of more than 5,000 Meitei Hindus in Sanamahi of Churachandpur, only 500 have been evacuated.
“The rest are under hostage of armed Kuki civilians supported by Kuki militants,” the groups said in a statement.
“Every house in the Meitei’s settlement area, established in 250 AD during the reign of Khoyum Tompok, has been burned down by well armed Kuki civilians and militants. The Meiteis have become homeless refugees in their own ancestral land and are taking refuge at the DC office of Churachandpur District headquarters,” they said.