[Press Release | 13 August 2023 | Imphal]
- Eight Member Team of CPIML, AIPWA, AILAJ and an Independent Activist Visits Manipur
- Team Holds Nexus of Biren Singh Led Manipur Government and the Union Government as fully responsible for the complete breakdown of constitutional machinery resulting in an unending saga of violence and untold human suffering in Manipur
Over the past four days an 8-member team from different parts of the country including Pratima Engheepi (CPIML leader, Karbi Anglong and Vice-President All India Progressive Womens Association), Bibek Das (CPIML leader, Assam), Sucheta De (CPIML leader, Delhi), Clifton D' Rozario (CPIML leader, Karnataka), Avani Chokshi (CPIML leader, Karnataka), Krishnaveni (All India Progressive Women's Association), Madhulika T (All India Lawyers Association for Justice) and Du. Saraswati (Dalit and women's rights activist, Karnataka) have visited affected villages and relief camps across Manipur and are shocked at the political turmoil created by the double-engine BJP governments in Manipur and at the Centre. The Team visited villages and relief camps in Imphal valley, Kangpokpi and Churachandpur districts.
1. This unprecedented ethnic segregation of the Meitei and Kuki communities into the valley and hills of Manipur, is the gift of BJP on the 75th anniversary of India's independence. Never before in the history of India has a government overseen such a complete decimation of society's social fabric that has resulted in entire communities within a state being ethnically segregated into different parts of a State. The double-engine BJP government has manufactured this segregation in a state, which despite previous conflicts, was able to reconcile and live together.
2. It goes without saying that this ethnic segregation and violence that has been raging for more than 3 months now, is the consequence of the actions of the BJP government. Even as the Chief Minister Biren Singh proved thoroughly incompetent and reluctant to put an end to the violence, Prime Minister Narendra Modi prioritised his visits to France and the US over Manipur. In fact the miserable response of the Prime Minister and the Home Minister in the Parliament exposes their bankruptcy in offering any comprehensive political solution to this crisis.
3. The situation in the relief camps is grim. Across the valley and hills thousands of internally displaced persons live in desperate conditions. Basic services are lacking, insufficient arrangements are being made as the government has wiped its hands off the suffering people.
4. The relief camps in the valley for the displaced Meiteis are in shocking condition. It is learnt that only Rs. 80/- per person in addition to some rice and dal is given by the state government at the relief camp at Shyamasakhi High School at the heart of Imphal, which is grossly insufficient. The Team also observed that no proper facilities are being provided at the relief camp at Moirang, which is currently being housed at a marketplace. Only Rs 500/- per person has been distributed to the people at the camp to date. The relief camp at Akampat run in the school campus is also congested with insufficient basic amenities. At the relief camps at the youth hostel in Churachandpur, run by volunteers, the rooms are highly congested, and infectious diseases have begun to fast spread. Measles, chicken pox, viral fever are an everyday reality at the camp. Sanitation is poor, and the camps the Team visited, which each have internally displaced persons upto 500 in number do not have sufficient toilet facilities. Most relief camps are unable to provide nutritious food to the residents and are only given rice and dal twice a day. At Kangpokpi, the relief camps are in a similar situation with no proper nutrition and sanitation. The district has only one upgraded PHC which has been designated a district hospital and which does not have sufficient doctors, staff or medicines.
5. The frontier between the valley and hills, and the undeclared blockade, has severely compromised the transport of essential commodities including basic relief food items, medicine affecting thousands of internally displaced Kukis in the relief camps in hill districts. This also impacts the mobility of Meiteis out of the Valley.
6. The government is squarely to blame for the violence and loss of lives and property suffered by the affected persons. It is a matter of shame that the Supreme Court has had to intervene to ensure that basic steps are taken in investigating these gross and inhuman crimes.
It is the resignation of Mr. Biren Singh as Chief Minister that will mark the first step in the journey towards any feasible political solution to this humanitarian crisis. We appeal to the affected communities to cease all hostilities to ensure that the suffering masses in the relief camps can be properly taken care of as a gesture of moving forward from the conflict and towards a resolution to the present impasse.
- For more information, contact: Clifton: +91 70220 45903 | Sucheta: +91 98683 83692
Pratima Enghipee (CPIML leader, Karbi Anglong) | Bibek Das (CPIML leader, Assam) | Sucheta De (CPIML leader, Delhi) Clifton D' Rozario (CPIML leader, Karnataka)| Avani Chokshi (CPIML leader, Karnataka) | Du. Saraswati (Dalit and Womens rights activist) | Krishnaveni (All India Progressive Women's Association) | Madhulika T. (All India Lawyers Association for Justice)