Students and stranded civilians of North East and other states evacuated from violence-hit Manipur

Amid ethnic violence in Manipur, the security forces and civil society organisations are helping in evacuating stranded civilians from other states.

Amid ethnic violence in Manipur, the security forces and civil society organisations are helping in evacuating stranded civilians from other states.

Photo source: Assam Rifle

Amid the ethnic tension in Manipur, students from different states have been evacuated by their respective governments. Students from Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura are among those who have been evacuated so far.

On Sunday, May 7th, a fresh batch of 62 students of Meghalaya were rescued from Manipur and landed at the Guwahati Airport. Out of them, 23 students are from Shillong and 25 are from Tura.

Khasi Students Union (KSU) general secretary Donald V Thabah informed the press that around 240 students landed at the Guwahati Airport on Sunday evening. Thabah informed that these students belong to Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Tripura and other states.

These students have been evacuated in association with the Manipur Home Department, the North-East Students Organisation (NESO) and All-Manipur Students Union (AMSU). Most of these students have been studying at Manipur-based institutions like the Central Agricultural University (CAU), Regional Institute of Medical Science (RIMS), National Institute of Technology (NIT), Manipur University, etc.

“Happy to see smiles and relief on their faces. 70 more students will be brought back home tonight. Great work by our team”, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma tweeted.

Around 300 students from Tripura were reportedly in Manipur. The government arranged two commercial flights to evacuate 208 stranded students of the CAU, RIMS, NIT, etc. Chief Minister Manik Saha informed the press that he contacted Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh for the safe evacuation of the students of Tripura stranded in Manipur and arranged the evacuation after speaking with Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia.

In the meantime, the Assam Rifles carried out an evacuation exercise to rescue 676 civilians of Nagaland stranded in Manipur. The operation code-named “Operation Kohima Calling” was carried out in coordination with Nagaland Police, district administrations and students’ organisations.

Around 22 buses ferrying the civilians, including women and children, reached Nagaland’s capital Kohima on Sunday afternoon. Deputy Chief Minister Y Patton received them at Kohima. The Nagaland government has announced financial aid of Rs 5,000 per household to the evacuees.

Apart from students, civilians of different states employed in Manipur are reportedly stranded there. So far, the Union government has formed no coordination body to swiftly carry out the evacuation of the civilians. State governments are individually approaching Singh’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the state for individual evacuation or seeking help from the Indian Army’s Eastern Command based in Kolkata, which is spearheading the peacekeeping and evacuation exercises.

Ethnic violence erupted in Manipur on Wednesday, May 3rd, after a rally by a tribal students’ union opposing the grant of scheduled tribe status to the state’s dominant Meitei community turned ugly in the Churachandpur district. Until Saturday, over 54 have lost their lives, including those shot dead by security forces, in the violence that has engulfed the state.

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