Seven months have passed since May 3 when the preplanned State-sanctioned pogrom first began against the Zo ethnic tribes (also referred to as “Kuki-Zomi” tribes). Manipur is ethnically divided, psychologically separated, geographically partitioned, and remains at constant risk of conflagration.
The human and security costs of the mass violence enabled by a complicit State gauged from publicly available data alone is unprecedented: 175 people killed and 45,000 displaced, with the majority of the deceased and displaced of Zo tribal ethnicity; 4,786 houses set on fire; 386 religious structures demolished; and 4,000 sophisticated weapons, along with five lakh rounds of ammunition, looted from armouries and police stations mostly in the valley districts. There are numerous stories of sexual violence perpetrated by armed Meitei mobs against Zo tribal women; their use of rape as a weapon of war and collective punishment came to light after a video of two tribal women being paraded naked went viral on social media. Moreover, the Supreme Court’s interventions have failed to enforce State accountability and generate confidence in the justice delivery system.
Yet, the Zo ethnic tribes do not seem to figure in the Centre’s scheme for the State except for some closed-door talks between Suspension of Operations insurgent groups and the interlocutor.
Read the full story here.