'Hygiene is very bad, there is no medicine and there is no electricity.'
'I fear that there will be a breakout of some disease.'
21 MPs from 16 Opposition parties went on a fact-finding mission over the weekend to Manipur, which has seen continuing violence for almost four months, since May 3, 2023.
A A Rahim, the CPI-M's Rajya Sabha member from Kerala, tells A Ganesh Nadar/Rediff.com what the MPs discovered on their visit.
I went there along with 21 fellow MPs from 16 Opposition parties. This is because the central government is not giving us any data on what is happening there.
Only after a horrendous video came out on the Internet more than three months after it happened did the realities there come to light.
We landed in Imphal and from there took a helicopter to Churachandpur and there we visited two Kuki camps and two Meitei camps.
The situation is very bad there. First of all, the state government was not running these camps.
These camps are being run by civil society to the best of their ability.
Both the central and state governments have not given a single rupee to these camps.
We first visited a Kuki camp where there were about 900 people.
There was no hygiene in the camp as there were no proper toilets.
I fear that there will be a breakout of some disease; a pandemic is imminent.
The camps are safe as no attacks have happened there. The civil society members are making sure of that.
Most of the inmates are women and children. The students in the camp are very stressed as they cannot attend school.
The institutions are open, but the path to the school and back is not safe.
There is not much food, but civil society is trying hard to help in the absence of state help.
The two rape victims were met by three women MPs, as we felt they would be more comfortable talking to women.
The Meitei camp was as bad as the Kuki camp.
This too was being maintained by civil society. But here the district administration has provided some help.
Hygiene is very bad, the atmosphere is very poor, there is no medicine and there is no electricity. Here too, most of the inmates are women and children.
The state government and central government are paralysed. The administration is paralysed.
As of now, there is no effective interest in settling the problem.
The government has done nothing. They have taken no steps to restore peace.
They have not taken any steps to start mediation between the warring tribes. They have not initiated a single dialogue.
The peace committee formed by the governor is biased against Kukis.
The government has to apply their mind properly, take proper action as it is a complex situation.
A political solution must be found. This is the aftermath of the BJP's divisive politics.
They have to stop their divisive ways. They have to provide a healing touch.
There has to be a proper intervention by the state and central governments supported by all parties.
We cannot ignore the problem any longer as the prime minister is doing.
We will inform Parliament about what we saw and heard there.
Parliament has to debate, discuss and come up with a solution.
We met the Manipur governor and informed her of our findings.
Feature Presentation: Rajesh Alva/Rediff.com