As many as 212 Meitei people who sought refuge across the border in Myanmar following violence in Moreh town since May 3, were now “safely back on Indian soil,” Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh said on Friday.
“A big shout-out to the Indian Army for their dedication in bringing them home. Sincere gratitude to GOC Eastern Command, Lt Gen. RP Kalita, GOC 3 Corp, Lt Gen. HS Sahi and CO of 5 AR, Col. Rahul Jain for their unwavering service,” he said in a post on X.
A source said they were brought back in coordination with the Myanmar Army.
Army said that those who returned included 89 women and 37 children and they were taken to Moreh Camp of Assam Rifles. “Necessary administrative support in terms of shelter, food and medical care is being provided. So far more than 400 displaced persons have been assisted by Assam Rifles and @manipur_police to safely return from Myanmar,” the Army posted on X.
Both countries have a Free Movement Regime within 16 km of the border. Since the 2021 military coup in Myanmar, many people of Kuki ethnicity crossed over to India amid violence and targeted attacks.
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After the ethnic violence erupted in Manipur, several Meitei people from Moreh, a Kuki-Zo dominated area, either fled to Imphal valley or crossed over to Myanmar through the unfenced border. Meitei homes in Moreh were burnt down by mobs in the ensuing violence.
The Manipur Police reiterated its appeal asking the members of the public to return the looted arms, ammunition, and explosives to the “police or nearest security forces immediately.”
More than 4,000 weapons and lakhs of rounds of ammunition have been looted from police armouries. The government has also announced a “rumour-free helpline number” (9233522822) for people to report circulation of “unfounded” videos.
In Imphal, the house of a former member of parliament caught fire. The two-storeyed house belonging to former Congress MP Thangso Baite is in Lamphel, a busy market area in Imphal. Firefighters were rushed to the scene to control the fire that completely damaged rooms on the first floor of the house.
A police official said the house was locked and the fire started from the first floor, adding that short circuit could also be one of the reasons. He said the house was empty and further investigations are on.