Pherzawl: Five days after Pherzawl District officials remained mute spectator in the search operation for a woman who was swept away by the strong currents of Tuivai river, Manipur Chief Minister Pu Biren Singh took note of the issue after Zoram Observer reached out to him on his verified Twitter account on Saturday.
“Govt (is) send(ing) DC (Deputy Commissioner) and officials to help,” the chief minister said in reply to Zoram Observer.
Govt send DC and officials to help.
— N Biren Singh (@NBirenSingh) June 3, 2017
It took just about three hours for Pu Biren Singh to reply. It’s a rare thing in this part of India for a politician to interact with citizens or to even reply to messages on social media.
However, the Pherzawl District Deputy Commissioner and the officials may not be able to reach on time to join the search teams in this remote part of the state as Sunday is already the 6th day of ‘Operation Lalruotmawi’ – a massive inter-village search exercise to find Pi Lalruotmawi of Manipur’s Parvachawm village. Villagers began the search on May 30 even as Cyclone Mora struck Northeast India.As per Hmar tribal traditions, search operation for such tragic incidents are conducted till the 7th day and last rites are held for the missing person soon after.
“Despite the heavy rain and swollen river we just cannot abandon the search operation,” said a local leader of the Hmar Youth Association.
Youth volunteers from both sides of the state border of Mizoram and Manipur are camping along the river banks and search operation has been hampered by rains every now and then, said our sources. “One of our volunteers lost his grip during the search operation and he was rescued on time,” a SMS message received from Parvachawm village said. With no boats, raft or diving gears, volunteers are forced to build temporary bamboo rafts, a risky innovation, to navigate around the river shores.
“WELCOME ALL HELP”
The neighbouring state of Mizoram has been lending a helping hand in terms of food for the volunteers and manpower with members of the Young Mizo Association joining HYA volunteers. “While Mizoram MLAs and their district officials have donated money and food items like rice, dal and potatoes for the search teams who are camping day and night along the river, no help came from Manipur side so far. It is hurting us,” a local HYA leader said.
Meanwhile, some community leaders from the Hmar tribe have expressed their gratitude to the chief minister of Manipur for taking note of the issue. “We welcome all the help we can get as we are still hopeful of finding Pi Lalruotmawi even as the chances of finding her alive is very now very low,” one villager elder said.