Tousem (Imphal), April 22 (ANI): Over 600 Zemei sub-tribe of the Zeliangrong community have moved out of North Cachar Hills in Assam since mid-March following threats from the Dima Halam Daogah militant outfit.
These people have taken shelter in the adjoining Tousem, a sub-division in Tamenglong district of Manipur, located around 260 kilometres away from Imphal.
A majority of those who fled their homes are children under 12 years of age and women. There is a constant increase in the number of villages arriving in camps.
"The Dimasa militants are killing innocent people and chasing the people from their homes and torturing them. We strictly oppose all these," said Agnis Newme, Secretary of Tousem Relief Committee.
The displaced villagers belong to the Zemei sub-tribe of the Zeliangrong community.
Other than the NC Hills and the Karbi Anglong districts of Assam, the Zeliangrong tribals are scattered across Nagaland and Manipur.
According to the villagers, Dimasa militants are targetting eight villages near Haflong - the headquarters of the NC Hills district. The affected villagers have fled to the safety of Mandeu, Njunkuak, Zenning villages besides Tousem in Manipur.
These refugees are under shock.
"We are facing a lot of problems. Firstly, all the schools have been shut down. So, all the teachers and students' lives are affected. Secondly, in Assam where we have been living we have to search our food daily, day by day," said Ranji Newmai, a refugee of Mohur Village.
"We are living in distress, without food and other basic necessities. Sometimes we have to spend nights in jungles because of the violence," said Rampei, another refugee of Mohur Village.
Meanwhile, several civil organizations have appealed for security and protection of the Zemei villages.
Meanwhile, state government of Assam claims to have taken up various measures for the protection of the Zemei villagers.
According to the Deputy commissioner of North Cachar Hills in Assam, S. Jagannathan, security has been beefed.
"We have extended relief. Earlier, there were around 800 people seeking relief of 450 of them were children and the rest women who came to stay in the Laisong Primary School and they have gone back now. We have held peace meetings at the villages in which the Zemei leaders have participated. The security has been increased. The army's presence in that area has been increased and regular interactions are there with the villages by the army and police in that area. Women and children, who have crossed the Jeri River, have started returning now," claimed S. Jagannathan, the Deputy Commissioner of N C Hills in Assam. (ANI)