By allowing Manipur’s wounds to fester, the state and central governments have pushed its people to a point of no return
Villagers stand guard at a bunker in Singda village in Imphal East district; (Photo: Chandradeep Kumar)
Nestled in the verdant Naga Hills, the picturesque district of Churachandpur was a tranquil backwater. Today, it is a tragic battleground in the bloody civil war that has engulfed Manipur over the past three months. Dominated by the Kuki tribe, Churachandpur is 60 km from Imphal, capital of the state and home to a majority of the state’s other significant community—the Meiteis. National Highway No. 2, the chief artery connecting the two key districts, has now turned into an unlikely and ugly Line of Control between the two communities. Road after road leading up to the highway, from Meitei areas to Kuki ones, is lined with the burnt remains of deserted homes and torched vehicles. Rifle-toting civilians man the multiple check-posts and bunkers that have come up, to ensure no vehicle from the “enemy zone” enters their territory.