From riot-hit Manipur over 7,500 people fled to Mizoram

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From riot-hit Manipur over 7,500 people fled to Mizoram

Aizawl: More than 7,500 people have fled to Mizoram from riot-torn Manipur, an official said on Monday.

A total of 7,527 internally displaced persons belonging to the ethnic Zos known as Kuki in Manipur had crossed into Mizoram till 5 pm on Monday, he said.
They have taken refuge in eight districts of the state. The official said Kolasib had the highest number of displaced persons at 2,685, followed by Aizawl (2,386) and Sethuyal (2,153).

He said that a total of 164 people have taken shelter in Champhai district, 36 in Khawazawl district, 27 in Serchhip district, 19 in Mamit district and 57 in Lunglei district.
Displaced persons have been housed in temporary relief camps, while many others have been sheltered by their relatives, he added.

Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramathanga said uniting all the ethnic Zo tribes in India, and bringing them under one administrative unit, was one of the main objectives of the founders of his Mizo National Front (MNF).

Zormathanga’s statement came after 10 Kuki MLAs of Manipur demanded a separate administration for the hilly areas of the state.
Zormathanga told party workers on Friday that one of the MNF’s demands was to unite the slum areas of states in Mizoram’s neighborhood to form one administrative unit – ‘Greater Mizoram’.

He claimed that it was raised during the peace talks with the Centre, which said it could be done under Article 3 of the Constitution.

However, he said that Mizoram cannot directly interfere in the internal affairs of Manipur.
“This initiative should be taken by our kindred brothers in Manipur as the issue of unity of Chin-Kuki-Mizo-Hmar-Zomo tribes should not be imposed,” he said.

Mizoram shares a 95 km long border with Manipur. The mountainous areas of Manipur adjacent to Mizoram are inhabited by Kukis, who share ethnic and cultural ties with the Mizos.
Violence erupted in Manipur on May 3 after a ‘tribal solidarity march’ was organized in ten hill districts of the state to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.

Meiteis constitute about 53% of Manipur’s population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley. The tribals – Nagas and Kukis – constitute another 40 percent of the population and live in the hilly districts.

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