Imphal civilians ensure safety of Kuki woman

Security personnel with a Kuki woman found by civilians in a ‘conflict zone’ in Manipur’s Imphal Valley and handed over safely to the police.
| Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

GUWAHATI: Civilians in Manipur’s Meitei-dominated Imphal Valley have ensured the safety of a Kuki woman, raising hopes for reconciliation in a State affected by months of ethnic violence.

Clashes between the Kuki-Zo and Meitei communities have claimed almost 200 lives and displaced about 60,000 people since May 3. The demand for Scheduled Tribe status by a section of the Meiteis and alleged indiscrimination against the tribal people, specifically the Kuki-Zos are said to be among the reasons behind the violence.

“On 26.12.2023, one lady namely Kimneilhing Kipgen (34 years) D/o. (L) Onkhohao Kipgen of Leimakhong and presently staying at Sapermeina, Kangpokpi District, was found at North AOC, Imphal by some civilians and was safely handed over to security forces. Further, she is being handed over to her family by security forces,” the Manipur police posted on X a couple of days ago.

She has been reunited safely with her family, a police officer in the Imphal East district said on Thursday, December 28.

The officer said the woman, a mother of one, had produced fake documents to rent a house in the State’s capital Imphal. Unlike a few months ago, members of a Meitei group dealt with her compassionately and handed her over to the nearest police station.

“The civilians wanted to ensure her safety and reunion with her family. It is a sign that the people want a climate conducive to dialogue, understanding, and resolution of the conflict,” the officer said, declining to be quoted.

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