Manipur peace process needs to be accelerated - Hindustan Times
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Manipur peace process needs to be accelerated

ByHT Editorial
Jun 26, 2023 10:14 AM IST

The security forces in Manipur are now dealing with mobs, some of them led by women, blocking the path of personnel trying to reach violence-hit villages

Already struggling to control simmering ethnic clashes that have driven a deep wedge between communities, the security forces in Manipur are now dealing with a new problem – mobs, some of them led by women, blocking the path of personnel trying to reach violence-hit villages and even thwarting combing operations. This newspaper reported on Sunday that security forces were forced to let go of 12 militants after a mob of around 1,200-1,500 people led by women surrounded them and blocked combing operations in Imphal East district. The report said that the 12 militants apprehended included the alleged mastermind of a 2015 ambush that killed 18 army personnel, but the local women surrounded the area and prevented the security forces from going ahead with the operation. The standoff ended only after the 12 members were allowed to go. Such incidents were reported earlier too. On June 22 , a mob blocked a central agency team in Imphal. The next day, the Army tweeted that groups led by women stopped security personnel from reaching an area where armed militants were firing with automatic guns.

The Army tweeted that groups led by women stopped security personnel from reaching an area where armed militants were firing with automatic guns(Representative Image/AFP) PREMIUM
The Army tweeted that groups led by women stopped security personnel from reaching an area where armed militants were firing with automatic guns(Representative Image/AFP)

These incidents highlight the difficult road that lies ahead for the northeastern state, and the need for an urgent reconciliation process. The peace panel set up by the central government has run into rough weather after prominent Kuki and Meitei groups distanced themselves from it. Against this backdrop, Union home minister Amit Shah’s assurance to 18 political parties is a good start. At an all-party meeting, Mr Shah cited his long experience in dealing with crises and assured them that the Union government was committed to ending the violence. But the Centre must consider doing more to get a grip on law and order, and take strong steps to kickstart the political reconciliation process.

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