The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

‘No choice’: India’s Manipuris cannot go back a year after fleeing violence

Lingneifel Vaiphei collapsed to the ground in agony after she saw the lifeless body of her infant child laid out on a cold steel stretcher in a mortuary in Chennai, the capital of India’s southern Tamil Nadu state. Steven’s body was tightly wrapped in a striped woollen shawl, traditionally worn by the Kuki-Zo tribe in the northeastern Manipur state. His face had turned blue. He was only sixmonths old. Crying profusely, the 20-yearold mother kept kissing her child’s face as she carried his body towards an ambulance, her husband Kennedy Vaiphei walking beside her. Amid sobs and muted rage, the family made their way to a burial ground, about 7km (4 miles) away, and laid their only child to rest. Nine months after Lingneifel and Kennedy had moved to Chennai in search of a fresh start away from violence, a nightmare they had never imagined had visited them. Less than 24 hours earlier, on the night of April 25, the couple had rushed Steven to Chennai’s Kilpauk Medical Hospital after his week-long fever refused to subside and kept getting worse. But the infant died on the way in his mother’s arms – before the family could even reach the hospital. Steven was born last winter in Chennai, nearly 3,200km (1,988 miles) away from the place his parents call home in Manipur, which has been in the grip of deadly ethnic clashes between the predominantly Hindu Meitei and the mainly Christian Kuki-Zo tribes for a year now. The Meiteis – about 60 percent of Manipur’s 2.9 million people – are concentrated in the more prosperous valley areas around the state capital, Imphal. The KukiZo and the Nagas, another prominent tribal group, mostly live in scattered settlements in the hills around the valley

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.