Govt will talk to Meiteis, Kukis to bridge ethnic divide in Manipur: Amit Shah | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Govt will talk to Meiteis, Kukis to bridge ethnic divide in Manipur: Amit Shah

ByNeeraj Chauhan
Jun 18, 2024 04:50 AM IST

Union home minister asked for strategic deployment of the central forces to restore peace and tranquillity in Manipur.

Union home minister Amit Shah on Monday said the government will talk to both Meiteis and Kukis to bridge the ethnic divide in Manipur at the earliest, while directing the security forces to ensure “no further incidents of violence should take place in the state”.

Union home minister Amit Shah chairs a high-level meeting to review the security situation in Manipur in Delhi on Monday. (ANI)
Union home minister Amit Shah chairs a high-level meeting to review the security situation in Manipur in Delhi on Monday. (ANI)

The home minister asked for “strategic deployment of the central forces to restore peace and tranquillity in Manipur”, while adding that forces will be increased, if required.

Shah made the remarks while chairing the first high-level meeting on Manipur by the central government after the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was re-elected to power earlier this month.

It was attended by the Chief of Army Staff General Manoj Pande, Union home secretary Ajay Bhalla, Director - Intelligence Bureau (IB) Tapan Deka, Army chief designate Lt. General Upendra Dwivedi, security advisor to the government of Manipur, Kuldiep Singh, director general of Assam Rifles Lt Gen P C Nair, chief secretary of Manipur Vineet Joshi, director general of police (DGP) Rajiv Singh, and senior officials of the army and state police.

Chief minister N Biren Singh was, however, missing from the crucial meeting.

In the two-hour-long meeting, Shah “did a holistic review of the security situation in Manipur and directed to ensure that no further incident of violence take place in Manipur”, the ministry of home affairs (MHA) said in a statement.

“The home minister stressed upon strategic deployment of the central forces to restore peace and tranquillity in Manipur. He added that the forces will be increased, if required. He further directed that strict action must be taken as per law against the perpetrators of violence,” it added.

On government’s plans to talk to both the warring sides, the MHA said “the HM underscored the importance of coordinated approach to resolve the ongoing ethnic conflict”.

“He said that the MHA will talk to both the groups, Meiteis and Kukis, so as to bridge the ethnic divide, at the earliest,” it added.

Asserting that the Centre has been actively supporting the Manipur government in strengthening the security situation in the state, Shah told the officers the government “is fully committed to ensure safety and security of all citizens of Manipur”.

Apart from deployment, the home minister also reviewed the situation in relief camps, particularly proper availability of food, water, medicines and other basic amenities.

He directed the chief secretary to ensure proper health and education facilities for the displaced people and their rehabilitation.

Since May 3 last year, Manipur has witnessed clashes between the two communities Kukis and Meiteis, which has claimed at least 225 lives to date and uprooted around 50,000 people, many of whom are still residing in relief centres.

The northeastern state has seen fresh violence in the last couple of weeks with a school building near Moreh being set ablaze and a missing person’s beheaded body found was found.

Last week, armed militants ambushed the convoy of Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh’s advanced security team in Kangpokpi district, leaving a civilian driver and a security officer injured. Around 600 people from Manipur’s Jiribam area are now taking shelter in Assam’s Cachar district following fresh violence reported there.

One June 10, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Dr Mohan Bhagwat said that Manipur has been waiting for peace for a year and this issue must be prioritised. Bhagwat stressed the need to get over with election rhetoric and focus on problems facing the nation.

Addressing a gathering of RSS trainees in Nagpur, Bhagwat said, “Manipur is waiting for peace for the last one year. There was peace in Manipur 10 years ago. It felt like gun culture had finished there. But the state has suddenly seen violence”.

The RSS chief said the situation in Manipur will have to be considered with priority and there is need to get over election rhetoric and focus on problems facing the nation. “The unrest either got triggered or was triggered, but Manipur is burning, and people are facing its extreme heat”, the RSS chief had said.

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