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Half of Meiteis living in Mizoram have left: Officials

Aizawl: While around 660 members of the Meitei community left Mizoram in the wake of the public outrage triggered by viral video of gang-rape and publicly paraded two Kuki-Zo women recently, many of them have been moving to and fro between Mizoram and Assam.

State Police officials on Sunday said that about 660 of the 1,500 estimated total Meitei people living in Mizoram, a little half of them are leaving the state for Assam and Manipur since a few days before the ‘Solidarity March’ held across the state on July 25.

Leaders of the All Mizoram Manipur Association (AMMA), an umbrella organization for the Meitei community living in the state said that they also do not know the exact number of the community members leaving for Assam and Manipur.

Intelligence sources said that the Meiteis left Mizoram fearing that the ‘Solidary March’ on July 25 would have resulted in mobs attacking their community as was in the case of March 3 in Manipur. Police said that such kind of violence have never had happened in the state and the processions had always been completely peaceful.

However, despite appeals by the state home department and the central committee of the Young Mizo Association (YMA), the apex Mizo body, not to leave the state, some of them left. The state government’s assurance that they would not be harmed and that elaborate security arrangements were made for them did not yield any positive results.

“After staying in Mizoram for a long time, the Meitei community should have known that the Police as well as the YMA will ensure that their safety as the community policing alone is also quite strong in the state,” one senior Police said, adding that the state Police never take sides in communal tension.

 Meanwhile, Mizo Students’ Union (MSU) has appealed to the authorities of the central institutions in the state especially the College of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry at Selesih near Aizawl to ask all the faculty members and non-teaching staffers to return to Mizoram before the new academic session commences.

The MSU said that the appeal was made to ensure that the students resume normal studies and asked the authorities of the institutions to apply ‘no work no pay’ to those who refused to join their works. 

They said that the Manipur government and several educational institutions in the neighbouring state have given such orders despite the fact that they knew very well that the Kuki-Zo government employees will never dare to return to the Imphal valley during the ongoing unabated violence targeting the minority community. 

No Meitei have so far been harmed or even harassed in Mizoram till date despite public anger and outrage caused by attacks on their kindred brothers and sisters in Manipur, Police added. 

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