Two Meitei houses near India-Myanmar border pillar set ablaze


Source: Waari Singbul Network

3/11/20242 min read

Imphal: Kwatha Khunou, one the last Meitei villages on the eastern front of restive Manipur, which remained relatively calm in the aftermath of the ethnic violence unfolded in the state in May last year, came under attack as two of its houses were torched on Sunday night.

Nestled near India-Myanmar Border Pillar No 81, the tiny hamlet, which comes under the jurisdiction of Moreh police station in Tengnoupal district, has nearly 15 houses with around 40 people.

In the aftermath of the ethnic violence, all villagers, fearing attacks from the surrounding Kuki villages, left their homesteads for safer climes, said Ningthoujam Manihar, chairman of the ill-fated village on Monday.

Many of them have taken refuge at the nearby Central forces-guarded Kwatha Khunjao, another Meitei village having a population of a little over 200, others, including patients and students, are staying in Imphal, he added.

“When some villagers along with the Central forces moved to Kwatha Khunou today, they witnessed two houses reduced to ashes though other structures remained intact,” Manihar said.

“We don’t know what will happen to other houses and structures at our village in the coming days,” he lamented, while urging the government to deploy adequate security there to ensure the displaced villagers return there soon.

The torched houses belong to L Irabanta (66) and Wahengbam Budha (45), he said, adding that uncertainty hangs ahead of them after Sunday’s attack on their village.

On security cover at their village, he said normally the army carried out patrolling and sometimes they halted a night or two there.

“But, we are not sure whether they (army) were there or not when last night’s incident last took place,” he added.

Following the incident, senior police officials deployed at Moreh town, visited Kwatha Khunou to assess the situation.

“ Kwatha Khunou is an abandoned village as no villagers were seen there during our visit. We saw remains of two Kuccha houses, and we cannot immediately ascertain who torched the two houses. A newly constructed government health centre building and other structures there remained intact,” said superintendent of police (special commando), Th Krishnatombi Singh.

Plans are afoot in the government to set up a security post at Kwatha Khunou to ensure the displaced villagers return back, the senior police officer said.

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