Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

The inter-tribe couples trying to survive as their communities are ripped apart

In India’s Manipur relationships between Kukis and Meiteis were not that uncommon before violence erupted, bringing the state to the brink of civil war. Namita Singh meets families whose lives have been destroyed by the crisis

Sunday 24 September 2023 11:58 BST
Comments
Joshua Hangsing and his wife Meena with their son Tonsing (centre) and two other children
Joshua Hangsing and his wife Meena with their son Tonsing (centre) and two other children (Supplied)

Joshua Hangsing was downstairs when he heard his seven-year-old son cry out in pain. The family were living in an army relief camp after fleeing their home as India’s Manipur state descended into a bloody tribal conflict.

A 55-year-old from the Kuki tribal community, Hangsing didn’t stay in his Kuki-dominated village in Kangpokpi after the violence broke out because he needed to protect his wife – a Meitei woman named Meena.

Their story of love across tribal lines is rare but not unheard of in a state where the two communities lived mostly in harmony until around four months ago, when a political row over the expansion of quotas for jobs and university places exploded into a de facto civil war, with at least 50,000 people displaced and more than 200 killed.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in