The number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from violence-stricken Manipur seeking refuge in various districts of Mizoram has surpassed the 10,000 mark, following the ongoing clashes between two communities. The clashes erupted on May 3rd, 2023, between the non-tribal Meitei people and tribal groups in Manipur, leading to an influx of tribal people seeking safety in Mizoram, according to an official statement.
The continuous arrival of tribal people from Manipur has resulted in an increase in the number of IDPs across ten districts of Mizoram. Kolasib district currently houses the highest number of IDPs, with 3,608 individuals, followed by Aizawl district with 3,535 and Saitual district with 2,445.
As per the latest update from the state's Information Department on June 8th, the IDP count in other districts stands at 240 in Champhai, 109 in Mamit, 79 in Khawzawl, 63 in Lunglei, 54 in Serchhip, 11 in Saiha, and an additional number in Hnathlial district, bringing the total tally to 10,152.
In response to the crisis, Manipur Heli Services announced the provision of helicopter services between Churachandpur's 36 AR Helipad and Imphal's Bir Tikendrajit International Airport on Friday, June 9th, 2023. Departing at 10 am from the DC Office, Mini-Secretariat Complex in Manipur's Churachandpur, the services are offered at a fare of Rs 2000 per passenger, as stated in the notification released by the Government of Manipur on Wednesday.
The ethnic violence that broke out in Manipur a month ago has resulted in the loss of at least 100 lives, with 310 others sustaining injuries. Presently, a total of 37,450 individuals are being sheltered in 272 relief camps. The clashes initially erupted after a 'Tribal Solidarity March' was organized in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community's demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.
Manipuri Meiteis, who constitute approximately 53% of Manipur's population and primarily reside in the Imphal Valley, clashed with the tribal Nagas and Kukis, who make up around 40% of the population and reside in the hill districts.
During his four-day visit to Manipur, Union Home Minister Amit Shah announced the formation of a judicial commission led by a retired Indian Chief Justice of the High Court to investigate the ongoing violence in Manipur. However, the Supreme Court declined an urgent hearing of a plea against the internet shutdown in the violence-hit state on Friday.
To restore peace in Manipur, a total of 135 columns of the army and Assam Rifles, along with 700 RAF personnel, have been deployed. The conflict has led to the destruction, looting, and burning down of over 200 churches and 1,700 homes. Around 10,000 Army and Assam Rifles personnel have been stationed in the state to restore peace and stability.
Considered one of the deadliest conflicts since Manipur attained statehood in 1972, the situation continues to raise concerns about the safety and well-being of the displaced population.
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