TODAY -

Rescued men give clean chit to Peace Committee
Initiatives of MLA Ranjit lauded

Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, March 03 2024: The daring rescue of 99 men, women and children from Kuki villages near Myanmar border on May 9 last year was carried out under the Peace Committee initiated by Sugnu AC MLA K Ranjit, said Akoijam Ingocha, one the people rescued.

If there was no Peace Committee and MLA K Ranjit, the 99 men, women and children would have been recovered as bodies, he said, strongly condemning an allegation that has been levelled against the committee and the MLA for causing "violence" in Sugnu and Serou.

Akoijam Ingocha of Thoubal Athokpam was engaged in road construction work at Khongkhai Kuki village near the border at the time.

At Manipur Press Club, Imphal today, Ingocha, representing the 99 people, said "If we were not rescued by the Peace Committee, formed by MLA K Ranjit, we would have been recovered as bodies" .



Rescued men give clean chit to Peace Committee
Rescued men give clean chit to Peace Committee


The 99 people including men, women and children were working in Kuki villages near the border with Myanmar.

They include residents of Waikhong, Thongjao, Thou-bal, Wangoo, Kiyam Siphai, Thongju, Bashikhong, Pu-khao, Nongpok Sekmai, Kumbikhok etc.

As violence broke out in Churachandpur on May 3, 2023, some of the 99 Meiteis sought shelter with the Assam Rifles and the remaining sought shelter with the chiefs of Kukis who were on good terms with them.

"As violence intensified with killings and burning down of houses, we had no place to run.

We thought we would be killed.

"Days later on May 9, five vehicles including trucks came to pick us up.

With Kuki youths of the village guarding us, we were transported to Lailoiphai village.

"At Lailoiphai, we found MLA K Ranjit, many Kuki people and village chiefs and Meiteis waiting for our arrival," Ingocha said, narrating how 99 of them were rescued.

Ingocha added, after they reached Lailoiphai, a meeting was held where MLA K Ranjit appreciated the Peace Committee and thanked the Kuki village chiefs and the volunteers and rewarded them with Rs 1.5 lakh.

"While the Kuki chiefs politely refused to accept the money, MLA K Ranjit insisted on them to receive the reward and use it for purchasing fuel and buying a sumptuous meal for the volunteers.

"The chiefs accepted the reward after MLA K Ranjit persuaded them saying the money may be used to organise a feast for the Peace Committee members and people of both communities when the crisis blows over," Ingocha said.

The massive rescue of 99 men, women and children was possible due to the efforts put in by the Peace Committee which was initiated by MLA K Ranjit, said Ingocha.

The Peace Committee had Kuki chiefs and individuals belonging to Kuki and Meitei communities as members.

From Lailoiphai, the Peace Committee further brought them to their homes.

"We don't know MLA K Ranjit initiated the Peace Committee, but we know for sure that the committee had rescued 99 men, women and children.

We will not be able to repay this debt forever," said Ingocha.

Even after the MLA and the Peace Committee has done much for peace, they have been wrongfully blamed for violence in Sugnu and Serou, said Ingocha, terming the accusation against MLA K Ranjit as baseless.

When violence between Meiteis and Kukis was reported from all sides by May 9, Sugnu and Serou didn't see any violent incident till May 27 due to efforts taken up by the Peace Committee and the MLA, Ingocha said.

Another rescued person, Toijam Bimol of Bashikhong, who was engaged in construction works at Khongkhai, said accusing the Peace Committee of "causing" violence at Sugnu is very unfortunate and condemnable.

None of the 99 men, women and children would have been alive today if there was no Peace Committee, he said.


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