Khwairamband warns many in relief camps may be suicidal. Ima Keithel Lukmai Sellup: Distraught mother recounts IDPs’ psychological trauma
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Khwairamband warns many in relief camps may be suicidal. Ima Keithel Lukmai Sellup: Distraught mother recounts IDPs’ psychological trauma


Khwairamband warns many in relief camps may be suicidal. Ima Keithel Lukmai Sellup: Distraught mother recounts IDPs’ psychological trauma
Our Correspondent
MOIRANG, July 9: My son would not have committed suicide if there had been no riots in Manipur, said Angom Sorojini, mother of Premkumar (36), an internally displaced person who was found hanging on July 6.
Her words, though simple, carry meaning as they reflect the deprivation and resulting psychological trauma that thousands of internally displaced people have experienced throughout these 14 months in various relief camps.
Angom Premkumar s/o (L) Kula of Churachandpur Tuibong Forest Gate lived in prefabricated houses built for the displaced people in Kwakta Sericulture Farm. Everyone knows what happened in Churachandpur on May 3, 2023. He breathed his last in his room (in relief camp) on July 6 at around 9:15 pm.
Sorojoni, speaking to several members of Khwairamband Ima Keithel Lukmai Sellup in Kwakta, said her son committed suicide because all his hopes were shattered by a series of events – from losing his home at the hands of Kuki arsonists to simply surviving in a refugee camp without any source of income.
Premkumar worked as a casual labourer.
She reiterated that if there had been no violence in Manipur, her son would not have taken such a drastic decision.
Saying that her family members were separated after violence broke out on May 3, 2023, Sorojini added that living in a refugee camp and not being able to earn money had taken a toll on her son’s mental health.
Sorojini said Premkumar fell into depression and committed suicide as he was unable to even pay the medical expenses of his wife.
Saying that they once lived happily in their small house in Churachandpur, sharing whatever they had, Sorojini added that she was worried about her daughter-in-law and grandchildren and the future that lay ahead of them.
Sorojini added that she does not know when she will be able to return home.
Appealing to the government to carry out rehabilitation work and resettlement of people whose houses were set on fire by Kuki militants and their associates, Sorojini added that she wanted to die in her home.
She also appealed to the government to ensure that there are no more suicides among internally displaced persons.
Khwairamband Ima Keithel Lukmai Sellup Secretary Asem Nirmala, who came to provide financial assistance to the grieving mother, said the living conditions of the people living in the prefabricated house were pathetic.
They are simply surviving, not living, she said, referring to the conditions in which internally displaced people live in the refugee camp.
She lamented that it was surprising that the Prime Minister, who had been silent on the crisis in Manipur for all these months, was now talking about normalcy in the Rajya Sabha.
Nirmala said the Prime Minister’s speech was like reading out a report. She said Narendra Modi talking about normalcy with reopening schools and colleges was unfortunate.
People will accept peace only when Kukis return to Imphal and Meeteis return to Moreh, Churachandpur, Kangpokpi etc., she added. Many more people in relief camps may be suicidal, she warned, adding that deprivation often leads to depression. She appealed to the government to take Premkumar’s case seriously and ensure that more IDPs do not commit suicide.