New Delhi, Aug 18 : Terrible state of relief camps, erosion of trust in government and lack of political will are some of the issues flagged by CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat who submitted a memorandum to President Droupadi Murmu on Friday after a three-day visit to Manipur. A delegation of the All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) visited the strife-torn state from August 9-11 and met those who faced the brunt of the riots.
In the memorandum, AIDWA conveyed the women’s deep sense of insecurity and despair. The group also mentioned that Governor Anusuiya Uikey whom they met has directly interacted with many of the victims and given her recommendations to the relevant authorities.
“However, what we saw and experienced shows that there is no change on the ground and in people’s hearts. We could understand the utter grimness of the situation in Manipur only after visiting the state and interacting with the people there, especially women,” the memorandum said.
It further said the divisions between the communities who have lived peacefully with each other run deep and there is “fear, distrust and suspicion” on both sides.
“Geographically, this is reflected in the raising of barriers, just like a national border between two regions where the respective communities live. No one from the ‘other’ community is allowed to cross this border.
“Nearly 5,000 colonies and many villages have been burnt to ashes. Thousands of people from both communities have fled from their homes and are in relief camps. The tribals have faced the brunt of the violence,” the group said in the memorandum.
It said the victims of sexual violence, whom the AIDWA met, were young tribal women and their families “who narrated unspeakable atrocities committed on them.” “They despair because there is no sign of justice so far. Some felt that the Supreme Court’s intervention would help. However, there are certain issues which need immediate resolution.
“For example, the young girl who was gang-raped and her mother, whose son and husband were brutally killed while they were trying to save her, told us that they want to at least see the dead bodies of their loved ones, which are in a mortuary in Imphal, and give them a dignified burial. Almost all the tribal families we met whose family members have been killed, are desperate to see the bodies,” the women’s group said.
AIDWA requested that the President convey the urgency of this to the government. They also highlighted that the “inaction” of the Biren Singh government and abdication of its constitutional duty has angered the people of Manipur.
“The betrayal of trust by the government, administration and the police has gravely damaged the harmony and unity of the people. The most important requirement is for a political solution, but people feel that the first step towards this is to remove the chief minister,” it said.
The group also highlighted the terrible state of the relief camps and said more than 55,000 people are in 350 such camps spread across Manipur. They are staying in these relief camps for over three months now with no solution in sight, the memorandum said.
“People are living in dire conditions in these camps. The rains have made the situation worse. They do not know whether they will ever be able to go back to their homes. There are old people, children, babies and pregnant women. PTI