In the face of escalating clashes between non-tribal Meitei people and minority tribal groups in Manipur, a significant number of over 170 Zo tribals sought refuge in eleven districts of Mizoram within the past 24 hours. The influx of displaced individuals from Manipur has now reached a staggering count of 11,503, according to the latest update from Mizoram's Information Department.
The continuous arrival of tribal people seeking safety has prompted the establishment of relief camps in three districts of Mizoram, accommodating a total of 8,634 internally displaced persons (IDPs) staying with relatives and friends, while 2,869 individuals have sought shelter in 35 relief camps.
Kolasib district takes the lead with the highest number of IDPs, housing 4,109 individuals, followed by Aizawl district with 3,825, and Saitual district with 2,809. Mizoram has become the epicenter for Manipur's IDPs among the northeastern states of India.
Amidst the unfolding crisis, the Indigenous Tribal Leaders Forum (ITLF), a representative organization for the Manipur Hill tribes, has expressed condemnation over the suspension of their official handle on Twitter. The platform served as a crucial medium for tribal organizations to raise awareness about the rights of the Zo minority communities.
Data provided by the ITLF reveals the alarming extent of the conflict in Manipur, with a death toll of 94 lives, 173 villages devastated, and a staggering 41,425 individuals seeking refuge in numerous relief camps scattered across the hill areas of Manipur.
The clashes initially erupted following a 'Tribal Solidarity March' organized in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community's demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status. In response, a massive deployment of security forces, including 135 columns of the army, Assam Rifles, and 700 RAF personnel, has been undertaken to restore peace in Manipur. The violence has resulted in the destruction of over 200 churches and 1,700 homes.
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