Updated December 28th, 2023 at 22:01 IST

Amid conflict, Meiti group handing over stranded Kuki woman to police gives ray of hope

The Kuki woman, who hailed from Leimakhong Chingmang, accidentally entered the conflict zone.

Reported by: Anirudha Bhakat
Meiti group's THIS act wins hearts | Image:Republic
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Imphal: A ray of hope flickered in the conflict-torn Manipur as a Kuki woman was safely handed over to the police by Meitei organisation Arambai Tenggol. Often depicted as a radical Meitei group, Arambai Tenggol's compassionate move has struck a chord between the warring factions. This act is set to pacify Kuki organisations like ITLF and COTU, who are leading the agitation for a separate Kuki-Zo administration amidst the ethnic conflict that began on May 3 in the State.

It has been learnt that the volunteers of Arambai Tenggol located the 34-year-old Kimneilhing Kipgen in an Meitei dominated area close to the buffer zone between Imphal East and Kangpokpi district. The woman, who hailed from Leimakhong Chingmang, accidentally entered the conflict zone. During questioning by the volunteers, fearing that she might get killed, she gave a false identity. However, soon it came to light that she is a Kuki woman, who is married to a South African man and has a child.

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Speaking to Republic Digital, Kimneilhing said that she is very happy to return home safely. “At first I was scared. Fearing that they might kill me, I tried to hide my identity. But when they got to know my real identity, I was even more scared and thought that they will kill me for sure. But contrary to what I thought, they provided me with water and food and took me to the police station and asked them to safely send me to Leimakhong,” Kimneilhing said.

Choosing a path of goodwill and humanity, Arambai Tengol acted altruistically by handing over the woman to the Imphal East district police, ensuring her safe return home.

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It has been reported that she came to Imphal East accidently while looking for a rented house.

Taking to ‘X’, Manipur Police acknowledged the act and tweeted a photograph with captions that read, “On 26.12.2023, one lady namely Kimneilhing Kipgen (34 years) D/o. (L) Onkhohao Kipgen of Leimakhong and presently staying at Sapermeina, Kangpokpi District, was found at North AOC, Imphal by some civilians and was safely handed over to security forces. Further, she is being handed over to her family by security forces.”

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This noble and compassionate gesture amidst the ethnic conflict that have segregated two communities not only ethnically, but also geographically, is being seen as a beacon of hope setting a precedent for a shift in the dynamics between the conflicting communities.

Since May 2023, more than 60000 people have been displaced with over 200 killed and many still missing. 

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Published December 28th, 2023 at 22:01 IST