Kimdei personal narrative of her family’s harrowing experience
As situation was getting tense and violence broke out in different places in Imphal on 3rd May, 2023. I (Kimdei), and my husband (Sonneo) and my mom (Mrs Pimang) we were apprehensive as to what would happen to us since we were the only family living in a Meitei locality at Palace Compound just adjacent to Sana Konnung (Royal Palace). We were feeling uneasy as we could hear the sound of tear gas from a distance. We could not understand what to do and where to go. We make some few phone calls asking our friends and relatives if they were all okay. It was a sleepless night and all we were hoping was for a miracle to save us since we could not go anywhere as the curfew was imposed and the internet suspended.
The next day i.e on 4th May 2023, being at home and helpless, we prayed and had worship. After sometime we had our food (who would have imagined it would our last meal at home before the violence ) The situation was getting worse by the minute and I felt numb. My husband told me to pack and set aside some of the important things. But when we look at our things, which one to keep aside, as all are important and dear to us. We didn’t know what to do, we looked at all the things in our room…our computer and camera, which we use for our ministry for our humble Youtube channel Amazing Truth Ministry for spreading the Gospel, our guitar where we have worship together at home, our family photos which holds all the memories of our wedding day and our happy days as a family together.
However I managed to put some clothes and some documents in a suitcase.
Right after finishing that after sometime around 1pm we heard a loud banging at the front gate. Soon after a mob of 60 or more stormed into our premise and started banging our front door. We were terrified inside the house, didn’t know what to do next. Some of the members of the mob banged our front door and threatened us by saying, ‘ Whoever is inside the house, come out! If not we will burn down the house’. I was frightened but I had to act fast so I called my husband and my mom and opened the door slowly. I stepped out first and I could see so many people standing in-front of our house armed with sticks, axe, knives and what not. They called us out and asked us if we belong to Kuki community….we said yes! On hearing that one of them said..’ We will do whatever we want in your house and you should not mind about it’. By God’s Grace we were asked to leave the house unharmed and we were in the out house where our tenant stay(a family who is related to us through my aunt who married to a Meitei family). We did not know what to do…so I just prayed helplessly. The whole mob entered the house and started destroying everything which was inside the house. It was very painful to hear the sound of glasses breaking and everything being destroyed. One of them came to us and started asking if we had our guns and to give it to them. What to talk about guns when my husband is a humble servant of God and we being a small family of three. After a while they left and as soon as they left we went to see what they had done. As we reach the varendah I could see our car with broken glasses ( what would they know the car they easily destroyed was given to me as a gift by my dad as a token of love which i and my husband use it for ministry and other necessity).
As we entered the house we could see everything was scattered and broken with all the furnitures ruined. Photo frames broken n things which were given to me with love for my wedding were all ruined. It was not just things but it was our home, our memories, our dreams which took years for us to built as a family together.
Soon after some people from the locality came to inspect what had happened to us, then another group of mob were coming so we had to run for our lives and safety we hid in our neighbors house. While running i could see huge black smoke coming from two different directions, one side was the smoke from my uncle’s place and the other side from Haokip veng. It was terrifying. While in hiding I called up my father and told him the situation we were in. Thankfully by God’s Grace through my dad’s calls one of our uncle told us help was on the way. A CRPF contingent of 69th BN were on the way. Situation was really tense as we could hear the riotous mob shouting slogans and with the sound of tear gas ,sirens and huge black smoke filling the atmosphere from a distance which would be from Haokip veng (a kuki colony near by). While we were in hiding we were not sure if we would even make it alive because anytime the mob could come and attack us. We kept on praying and hoping we could go out safety from there. It took almost 5 hours for the rescue team to reach us since all the roads were blocked by the mob. At around 6pm CRPF team manage to escort us out from the place to safety at 69th BN HQ at Mantripukri, Imphal. We had some relief we were safe.
The next day i.e 5th May, 2023 I learned from the neighbors another riotous mob came again to the house and destroyed whatever was left behind and also set the car ablaze and taking advantage of the situation the nearby neighbors also took away whatever they could with them from the house, who would have imagined that the people with whom we lived together as neighbors for many years would happen to be our worst enemies. What an irony!
These people would not even know how long and how much toiling it took for us to built a home. They didn’t just destroy our house but they took away whats left of all the memories of my parents hard work of buying that plot of land during the early 90’s from the Royal family from the Princess Thamphasana the daughter of Maharaja Bodhachandra. Even if its not the same anymore I do miss my home, the memories, the years of toiling to make it a place we call home. A place where me n my husband shared our dreams, goals, sang songs of Praises to God. We don’t know how the condition of the house would be now but it was not just a house but it was a place which was close to our hearts.🙏😇
God’s see everything so we entrusted everything to Him🙏even in the storms of life we praise God. Though everything is gone we are still Thankful because we still have God by our side🌈🙏