“Who gains? Who loses?”- An interim report on Manipur violence, resilience, relief and rehabilitation

A team of four women – Syeda Hameed, Roshmi Goswami, Jarjum G Ete, and Angela Rangad – published this report to amplify the voices of Manipur violence survivors and victims.

A report titled “Who gains? Who loses? Interim Reflections from Manipur” have been released by a team of four women who visited the state of Manipur on August 3. The said team comprised of Dr. Syeda Hameed (Mentor – Bharat Jodo Abhiyan, Founder member South Asians for Human Rights), Dr. Roshmi Goswami (National Council Member Bharat Jodo Abhiyan, Co-Chair South Asians for Human Rights, Co-founder, North East Network), Jarjum G Ete (AIUFWP – All India Union of Forest Working People) and Angela Rangad (TUR – Thma U Rangli Juki, KAM Meghalaya). The four women belonged to different ethnicities and four different religions.

The team had visited the state of Manipur three months after ethnic violence had engulfed it. The team visited various districts of Manipur as well as the relief camps being run, and spoke to women from the Kuki Zo, Meitei and Naga communities. As stated in the report, the team met with organisations, women and student leaders, concerned individuals, experts from human rights and environmental movements, peace activists and negotiators, journalists, researchers, filmmakers, writers and theatre personalities, students, relief providers, church workers and others. It was also reported that the team met with survivors of sexual violence, assault and killings, families of disappeared peoples, displaced people and individual voices against the drug cartel.

The team states the following about their time in Manipur “the entire period of our visit was indeed a ‘flare up’ period which was highly charged, each day bringing new challenges of heightened aggressive and combat posturing by all actors – Kuki and Meitei groups, Meira Paibis, Armed volunteers, State and Central security forces and the Military. We were therefore literally in the middle of ‘events and incidents’. It was a lived experience of the ‘Manipur battleground’. This also determined where we could go and where we could not.”

Through the report, the team has put forth the anguished narratives of the people of Manipur, who blame both the Union and the state government for the festering and aggravating the violence in Manipur. The report states: “The Manipur crisis is therefore a clear indication of both the culpability and incapability of the BJP government led by Narendra Modi. In addition, the PM’s petulant and arrogant silence and lack of empathy for the affected people shows a complete disregard for the state of Manipur and is deeply insulting to its people.”

The report also provides insight into the role that women from both sides are playing in resisting violence and supporting the members of their community. The report highlights the issues that are prevailing the state of Manipur as well as the questions that will have to be thoroughly probed and factored in while initiating the peace process. On the issue of ‘Relief and Rehabilitation’, the team provided a list of issues that exist at these relief camps which need to be addressed immediately. Notably, the team had visited relief camps in Moirang, Tengnoupal and Kangpokpi. The team also highlighted that since relief camps were being housed in school and college premises, educational activities in these spaces have come to a halt for the last 3 months.

The report states: “A big question that is left unanswered is rehabilitation. How and when can those in the camps safely return? How will they rebuild their homes that have been destroyed? Many including community relief camp committee members are raising this concern.”

The report then provides suggestions based on observations and information gathered after interactions with those in the camps and the volunteers and community groups. These suggestions are as follows:

The report ends with words of hope and urge us to join hands to rebuild and heal: “We have hope and we cling to it for it cannot be taken away from us. Hope is all that we have left after our houses and homes have been burnt, our fields have been destroyed, our places of worship gone and our social lives ripped apart.”

The complete report can be read here:


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