Many more in relief camps may have suicidal thoughts, cautions Khwairamband Ima Keithel Lukmai Sellup Bereaved mom talks of mental trauma of IDPs


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Our Correspondent
MOIRANG, Jul 9 : My son would not have committed suicide had there been no unrest in Manipur, said Angom Sorojini, mother of Premkumar (36), an internally displaced person, who was found found hung to death on July 6 last.
Her words, though simple, hold significance as it reflects the deprivation and the resulting psychological trauma which thousands of IDPs have been enduring all these 14 months in different relief camps.
Angom Premkumar s/o (L) Kula of Churachandpur Tuibong Forest Gate was living in the prefabricated houses built for displaced people at Kwakta Sericulture Farm. All know what happened at Churachandpur on May 3, 2023.  He breathed his last inside his room (of the relief camp) on July 6 at around 9.15 pm.
Sorojoni, while interacting with some members of Khwairamband Ima Keithel Lukmai Sellup at Kwakta, said that her son committed suicide as all his hopes were shattered by a series of events-from losing his house at the hands of Kuki arsonists to merely surviving at the relief camp without any source of income.
Premkumar used to work as a casual labourer.
She reiterated that  her son would not have taken the extreme decision had there been no violence in Manipur.
Saying that her family members have been separated after the violence erupted on May 3, 2023, Sorojini added that living at the relief camp and inability to make money had taken a heavy toll on the mental health of her son.
Sorojini went on to  state Premkumar got depressed and committed suicide as  he could not even bear the treatment cost of his wife's treatment.
Saying that they used to live happily  in their little house at Churachandpur by sharing whatever little they had, Sorojini added that she is worried thinking about her daughter in law and grandchildren and the future that awaits them.
Sorojini went  on to state that she doesn't know when she can return home.
Appealing to the Government to carry out the rehabilitation and resettlement works of people whose houses were torched by Kuki militants and their associates, Sorojini added that she wants to die at her home.
She also appealed to the Government  to make sure no more IDPs commit suicide.
Secretary of Khwairamband Ima Keithel Lukmai Sellup Asem Nirmala who had come to extend some financial aid to the bereaved mother said that the living condition of the people at the prefabricated house is pathetic.
They are merely surviving, not living, she said, referring to how the IDPs have  been living at the relief camp.
It is surprising that the Prime Minister, after remaining silent all these months on the Manipur crisis,  spoke of normalcy on the floor of Rajya Sabha, she rued.
Saying that the speech of the Prime Minister was similar to reading out a report, Nirmala said that Narendra Modi speaking of normalcy on account of reopening of schools and colleges was unfortunate.
People will accept there is peace only when Kukis return to Imphal and Meeteis return to Moreh, Churachandpur, Kangpokpi etc, she added. Many more people in relief camps may have suicidal thoughts, she cautioned and added that deprivation often leads to depression. She appealed to the Government to take the case of  Premkumar seriously and make sure no more IDPs commit suicide.