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Meghalaya brings over 300 students from violence-hit Manipur

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SHILLONG, May 9 (PTI): Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma on Tuesday said more than 300 students from the state, who were stranded in violence-hit Manipur, were brought back in the last few days.

Sangma also said his government had on Monday arranged for a special flight on the Imphal-Shillong route to evacuate students stuck in the trouble-torn state.

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“In the last few days, 300 plus students stuck in violence-hit Imphal valley in Manipur have been safely evacuated,” Sangma told PTI.

The last batch of stranded students came here directly from Imphal on Monday as a special flight was arranged for them, he said.

“All students from Meghalaya, barring a few who opted to stay there, have been airlifted,” said an official who was sent to Manipur to oversee the evacuation process.

Sangma had on Monday said he would soon discuss with the Centre for peace in violence-hit Manipur.

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“I will go to Delhi soon. Whenever I get the opportunity I will definitely take up the matter to restore peace in Manipur. It is important to maintain peace in the north-east region,” Sangma had said.

He also urged people in the violence-hit state to maintain peace.

However, the situation across 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 in the past few days.

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Violent clashes broke out between tribals and people belonging to the majority Meitei community in Manipur on Wednesday, displacing thousands of people.

The clashes erupted after a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the ten 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.

Tribals — Nagas and Kukis — constitute another 40 per cent of the population and reside mostly in the hill districts.

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