As a church and a theological college burn down in Manipur, the pastor screams out for aid.

The 5,000 victims of violence seeking refuge in an Assam Rifles relief camp in Mantripukhuri include the 50-year-old Kuki.
As a church and a theological college burn down in Manipur, the pastor screams out for aid.

The 50-year-old Kuki victim of violence is one of the 5,000 people seeking refuge in an Assam Rifles relief camp in Mantripukhuri, which is located outside of Imphal in Manipur.

After a mob destroyed his church, the theological college where he taught, and the residences he had called home for 20 years, Khongsai's family travelled to the camp on Thursday. Two days after assisting other victims, the priest moved in at the camp.

The majority Christian Kukis are based mostly in the hills, whereas the majority Hindu Meitei majority in Manipur is concentrated in the Imphal valley. This violence has impacted both the wealthy and the less fortunate, and it has caused significant damage to both life and property.

A 100-person mob broke into the Kuki Christian Church premises in Imphal City on Thursday and caused havoc, so my wife and kids moved to the camp, "Khongsai stated.

To save our lives, we had to flee. Security personnel were unable to maintain (the situation). Yesterday (Saturday), after taking care of those left behind on the compound, I moved to the camp.

Almost 100 of the approximately 300 residents of the church property have relocated to the relief camp, which is also housing members of other tribes, according to Khongsai.

Around 30 kilometres from the Imphal relief camp, where the family has relations, he wishes to relocate to Kangpokpi.

In addition to my wife, myself, and our three kids, there are 15 other family members living in the camp. My in-sister law's is expecting. Please assist us in moving," he urged. "I just own the T-shirt and pants I'm currently sporting. Nothing could be saved by us.

Inmates are not allowed to leave the camp due of the security risk, although Khongsai claimed to have "secretly" visited the church property once. The church compound is located 7 kilometres from the relief camp. Nothing is left; all that was left has been looted, he declared.

It will be very challenging for us to get back to Imphal, Khongsai continued. Pray for peace and for us.

The camp detainees ate two meals a day, according to Khongsai. Some 10,000 people were living in relief camps in their "own city," he continued.

The Meiteis' quest for Scheduled Tribe designation, which is opposed by the state's tribal population, including Kukis and Nagas who already have ST status, contributed to the violence on May 3.

Meiteis have also been impacted. Five thousand people, predominantly Meiteis, are housed in four relief camps in Churachandpur town, about 60 kilometres from Imphal. The Kukis predominate in the hilly district of Churachandpur.

In the Bishnupur district, around 30 km from Imphal, there are about 3,800 people living in 27 small relief camps, the majority of whom are Meteis. The border between Bishnupur and Churachandpur is thought to be the source of the recent turmoil.

Authorities said that while the overall situation in Manipur has been improving, it would still take some time for things to return to normal.

According to the army, 23,000 people had been "rescued" and sent to "operational bases/military garrisons" of the organisation. Since Wednesday, over 7,000 members of the army and paramilitary forces have been sent in to handle the situation.

Together with Churachandpur, Bishnupur, and Tengnoupal districts, the Imphal valley is one of the worst-affected places. The army has increased aerial surveillance using drones and redeployed helicopters there.

On Sunday from 7 a.m. to noon, Churachandpur's curfew was eased. Except for Pherzawl, which has a 12-hour relaxation, curfews will be loosened in 11 of the state's 16 districts on Monday for a period of time between two and five hours.

Vineet Jain, who had been on deputation to the Center, took over as chief secretary from Rajesh Kumar on Sunday.

Jain's hiring marks the third significant hire since Thursday as a result of "advice" from the Center to tighten up administration and security.

Former CRPF commander Kuldip Singh has been named the chief minister's security adviser, and DGP Ashutosh Sinha has been named the "overall operational commander." Working under Singh's direction is Sinha.