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Mizo students embark on second exodus from Imphal

Aizawl: At least 31 Mizo students in Imphal left for Aizawl on Sunday, while more are expected to do so in the next few days.

Manipur state government has not make any arrangements for special or additional flights between Aizawl and Imphal even as some sections of the media published reports that the Manipur government would do so on Sunday, officials said.

On Sunday’s Imphal to Aizawl flight operated by Alliance Air, a total of 31 Mizos were on board. These individuals had previously been evacuated from Imphal and have gone back to the Manipur capital to pursue their studies. However, in response to the prevailing situation, they were now returning to Aizawl.

Officials of the state Civil Aviation wing said that of 67 passengers aboard in Aizawl-Imphal flight on Saturday, 65 people belonged to Meitei community while 2 of them landed at Silchar from Imphal.

The officials said that 53 Meitei passengers were in the Alliance Air’s Aizawl-Imphal flight on Sunday, while there were 14 and 11 Meiteis in Indigo Airline’s flight from Aizawl to Guwahati  and Aizawl to Kolkata respectively on the same day.

Members of Meitei community left Mizoram despite pleas from the state home department not to do so and that security arrangements are made to ensure their safety in the state.

State Home Commissioner H. Lalengmawia on Saturday held discussion with representatives of All Mizoram Manipuri Association (AMMA) and assured them of their safety and security and not be misguided by rumours and also persuaded them to inform their fellow Meiteis both Government employees and students not to leave the state due to the unfortunate misinterpretation of the Press Statement by Peace Accord Mizo National Front (MNF) Returnees Association (PAMRA).

PAMRA representatives have earlier clarified that the Press Release that was issued by them was an advisory requesting Meiteis living in Mizoram to exercise caution in the light of public sentiments regarding the ongoing ethnic conflict in Manipur and was not a diktat or a quit notice to Meitei community.

Central committee of the Young Mizo Assocation (YMA), the largest civil society in the state, also appealed to the Meitei community in Mizoram not to leave the state and continue their daily chores.

The Meiteis in the state were deeply disturbed by the recent incident of outrage triggered by a viral video, where two Vaiphei women were shamefully paraded naked in Manipur by Meitei miscreants. This appalling act sent shockwaves across the country. Despite having coexisted peacefully with the majority Mizos in the state for a long time, this incident has caused unrest among the Meitei community.

Meanwhile, Mizo Students’ Union (MSU) also has cancelled its intention to conduct ‘census’ of Meitei community in the state from Monday.

The cancellation came after the MSU leaders held talks with the state home commissioner on Saturday evening.

Home department sources said that there were around 2,000 Meiteis staying in the state when the current violence began in Manipur on May 3.

In the meantime a meeting of state Police officials chaired by DGP Anil Shukla reviewed the law and order situation, especially in view of the proposed rally of solidarity with Mizo ethnic tribal community on Tuesday.

The meeting reviewed all the measures being taken to ensure the safety and security of Manipuri/Meitei community in various parts of Mizoram.

A statement issued by the state Police on Sunday said that the Police, in collaboration with administrative officials, is maintaining a close watch on the situation. Senior Police Officers and all police personnel on the ground are working diligently to ensure the safety and security of Manipuri /Meitei people in various parts of the state.

“While the Mizoram Police is committed to protecting all citizens and upholding communal harmony, we urge all CSOs, NGOs, and the general public, known for their law-abiding and peace-loving nature, to assist us in maintaining peace and tranquility,” the statement added. 

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