AIZAWL, June 18 (PTI): Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga on Sunday said his Manipur counterpart N Biren Singh has spoken to him over the phone and sought his help to restore peace in the neighbouring state.
During the telephonic conversation, Singh also requested him to take measures for the safety of Meitei people living in Mizoram, the chief minister said.
Taking to Twitter, Zoramthanga said, “chief minister of Manipur, Shri N Biren Singh spoke to me over the phone at 12:30 PM regarding the Manipur ongoing violence asking for my aid in resolving the issue with a hope that henceforth there would be a peaceful co-existence. Furthermore, the request is to take means and measures for the Mizoram Meitei to settle peacefully.”
He also told Singh that the people of Mizoram are empathetic towards the Meitei and that the government and civil society organisations have taken measures for peace and security.
“I assured the chief minister of Manipur stating that Govt. Of #Mizoram bemoans the ongoing violence and that it has taken certain steps and measures to abate it. I further stated that we are suppportive of the steps taken by the Govt. Of #Manipur and the #Central Govt.”
Over 100 people have lost their lives in the ethnic violence in Manipur, which has been continuing for more than a month now.
“I also apprised the chief minister of Manipur that we, the people of #Mizoram are empathetic towards the Meitei and that the #government and the #NGOs have taken measures for peace and security. Therefore, for the Meitei who are residing in Mizoram, they have nothing to fear as long as they are in Mizoram. We shall go on to promote safety and security for them.”
Clashes first broke out on May 3 after a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the hill districts of Manipur 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 in the hill districts.
Meanwhile, at least 196 people from strife-torn Manipur fled to Mizoram in the past two days, raising the total number of displaced people staying at shelters in the state to 11,699.
As of Sunday, the Kolasib district hosts 4,250 displaced people, while 3,825 have taken refuge in Aizawl and 2,845 in Saitual, according to the Mizoram home department statement.
The remaining 779 people took shelter in eight districts- Champhai, Lunglei, Mamit, Hnahthial, Serchhip, Siaha, Khawzawl and Lawngtlai, it said.
The state government and village authorities have set up 35 relief camps.
However, the majority of the displaced people belonging to the Zo ethnic tribes are staying at their relatives’ places while others also live in rented houses.