The Mizoram government on Saturday reassured the Meitei community living in the state of safety and told them not to pay heed to rumours.
The government’s assurance came amid reports of Meiteis fleeing the state following an ‘advisory’ by an ex-militant’s association of Mizoram asking them to leave due to tension triggered by the viral video of two women being paraded naked by a mob in Manipur.
State home commissioner and secretary H. Lalengmawia held a meeting with leaders of the Meitei community and assured them of their safety and security, an official statement said.
During the meetings with leaders of All Mizoram Manipuri Association (AMMA), Lalengamwia asked them to inform and persuade their fellow Meiteis, both government employees and students, not to leave Mizoram in the wake of the advisory issued by the Peace Accord MNF Returnees’ Association (PAMRA), the statement said.
He informed the leaders that the press statement by PAMRA was misconstrued in a section of media.
The home secretary also convened a meeting with leaders of PAMRA, who clarified that the press release was issued as an advisory requesting the Meitei community living in Mizoram to exercise caution in the light of public sentiments regarding the ongoing ethnic conflict in Manipur, the statement said.
The leaders also informed the home secretary that the press release was not a diktat or a quit notice to the Meiteis, it said.
While expressing regret that their press statement was misconstrued, PAMRA leaders decided not to pursue their release any further in order to maintain peace and tranquility in the state, the statement added.
Earlier on Friday, PAMRA secretary general C. Lalthenlova said they were concerned about the safety of the Meitei community in Mizoram as many Mizo youths have become angry after the viral video.
He also said they had just issued an appeal as a precaution to avert any untoward incident.
Police said several Meitei people have left for their home states on Saturday amid mounting tension.
A few thousand Meiteis, mostly from Manipur and south Assam, live in Mizoram.
Mizoram deputy inspector general of police (Northern Range) Lallianmawia said security has been tightened in some places and institutions, including Mizoram University and Zoram Medical College, where a sizeable number of Meiteis study.
“We have deployed police personnel in some areas and institutions where the Meitei people are living and regular patrolling is being done to avoid any untoward incident,” he told PTI.
He said no untoward incident has happened till Saturday. He said the police department is in constant touch with leaders of the Meitei community.
According to Lallianmawia, Meiteis feel insecure and are afraid not because of the PAMRA press release, but due to the proposed protest rally by civil society groups on July 25.
The Meitei community is afraid that something wrong would happen after the rally as violence in Manipur began after the tribal solidarity march on May 3, he said.
The central committee of Young Mizo Association (CYMA) issued a press release on Saturday comforting the Meitei people not to be afraid because of the proposed rally and also appealed to them to live in peace.
The organisation also urged the Manipur government to ensure the safety of the Mizo students in Imphal.
Meanwhile, state principal consultant for civil aviation Wing Commander J. Lalhmingliana said 65 Meitei people left for Manipur by flight on Saturday.
He said all tickets for the next flight on Aizawl-Imphal route on Monday have also been booked. (PTI)