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‘When will our life be back to normal’

Updated on: 01 June,2023 07:58 AM IST  |  Imphal
Agencies |

Normal for most meant chatting with a fellow Manipuri without worrying about their tribe, riding a bike to next district or seeing a movie without worrying about arson

‘When will our life be back to normal’

Women at the violence-hit area of Sugnu, in Kakching district

The Centre is working on a three-pronged approach to bring the warring Meitei and Kuki communities into a narrow common ground for lasting peace in trouble-torn Manipur, sources said on Wednesday. These include dialogue with the affected people, rehabilitating those who had to leave their homes with enhanced security and control over insurgents, the sources privy to the development said. On the third day of his visit to the state, Union Home Minister Amit Shah met a delegation of the Kuki community and a team representing others communities.

Major task of govt

The major task before the government is to build confidence between the Meitei and Kuki communities. Hence, the Centre is making all efforts to reach out to every segment of the society in Manipur and working to bring them into a common ground for lasting peace, the sources added.

‘They want friendships back’

Meanwhile, both Kuki and Meitei villagers have only one question in mind—when will life be back to normal? Normal for most of them meant being able to chat with a fellow Manipuri, without worrying whether he or she belonged to another tribe, ride a motorcycle to the next district in search of a bargain or see a movie in the evening without worrying about an arson attack at the cinema hall.

A view of damaged house in the district, on Wednesday. Pics/PTI
A view of damaged house in the district, on Wednesday. Pics/PTI

L Bimol Meitei, a former BSF personnel, said that his village Sangaithel is adjacent to a Kuki village and before the violence began, there was a cordial relationship between them with both sides visiting each other. “After May 3, there is an atmosphere of fear because attacks took place in some nearby places. So, the contacts have stopped now,” he lamented.

In the neighbouring Kuki village of Saheibung, village chief S Athang Haokip said his family was affected and they had to flee on the first night of rioting to hide in the jungle. “After the Army came, we felt safer and relieved. But I don’t know how long this will go on. Once the army leaves, what will be the situation—only time will say that,” he added. Haokip said that houses in his and other neighbouring Kuki villages were not burnt by people from Sangaithel or any other nearby Meitei settlement, but by attackers who came from distant places.

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