‘We lived happily…now they call and cry’: In Manipur’s ‘ghost village’

A peace committee was formed on May 4, including Meitei, Kuki and other groups. But it could not stop violence from spilling over to other areas in Sugnoo.

WrittenBy:Prateek Goyal
Date:
   
  • Share this article on whatsapp

With over 400 houses set ablaze, the Serou village in Sugnoo block of Manipur’s Kakching district now looks like a ghost town.

But until the arson, which took place on May 28, normalcy had prevailed in Sugnoo even though violence had begun to grip other areas. A peace committee, comprising members of all communities, had been formed in the area immediately – with help from the police and Congress MLA K Ranjit Singh – after initial reports of clashes in other parts of the state. 

But it all changed on May 28. After a group of nearly 60 armed miscreants from the Kuki community allegedly targeted Meitei properties in Serou, the violence spilled over to other areas. A group of over 2,000 Meiteis subsequently mobilised in Sugnoo from Bishnupur, Kakching and Imphal, to allegedly lead an attack in Kuki-dominated areas such as Zouveng and Singtam. More than 150 houses were set ablaze, with 10 casualties.

In Serou, meanwhile, a villager told Newslaundry, “All of them ran away and never returned. They are in a relief camp. Sometimes they call and cry. Earlier, we all used to stay together happily but now our village has become a jungle.”

Why did the peace committee fail to ensure normalcy in the area? What triggered the violence? And what has been the impact on Serou, which also houses Nepalis and Bengalis?

Watch. 

subscription-appeal-image

Support Independent Media

The media must be free and fair, uninfluenced by corporate or state interests. That's why you, the public, need to pay to keep news free.

Contribute
Also see
article imageManipur violence: 53 bodies – mostly Kukis – lie unclaimed at two Imphal hospitals
article image‘The next Kashmir’: On Manipur ground zero, ‘rising’ bullet prices, armed youth at police bunkers
article image‘Empty-handed, desperate flight through forests’: Kuki-Zomis on encountering mobs, fleeing to Nagaland

You may also like