Peace committee formed to restore social amity in Manipur

By, New Delhi/guwahati
Jun 11, 2023 12:13 AM IST

The committee was formed after at least 105 people were killed and nearly 40,000 displaced in clashes between the Kukis and Meiteis communities.

The central government has formed a peace committee led by Manipur governor Anusuiya Uikey to restore amity among warring ethnic groups and initiate a dialogue between them, the home ministry said on Saturday.

Indian Army soldiers recover 22 automated weapons in Manipur on Saturday. (ANI)
Indian Army soldiers recover 22 automated weapons in Manipur on Saturday. (ANI)

The committee will have chief minister N Biren Singh, a few state ministers, members of Parliament and state assembly, leaders from different parties, and civil society as well as representatives of ethnic groups.

Also read: 3 more killed in ethnic violence-hit Manipur

“Government of India has constituted ‘peace committee’ in Manipur under the chairpersonship of the governor, Manipur. The members of the committee include the chief minister, a few ministers in the state government, MP, MLAs and leaders from different political parties,” a ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

The mandate of the committee, it said, will be to “facilitate peace making process among various ethnic groups of the State, including peaceful dialogue and negotiations between conflicting parties/groups”.

“The committee should strengthen social cohesiveness, mutual understanding and facilitate cordial communication between various ethnic groups,” the home ministry said.

After his four-day tour of the state from May 29 to June 1, home minister Amit Shah had announced formation of a peace committee.

As the committee tries to find a solution to the violence through dialogue and negotiation, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is probing a conspiracy angle behind the violence and a three-member judicial panel headed by former chief justice of Gauhati high court, Ajai Lamba, is looking into the causes of violence and lapses on part of authorities, people familiar with the developments said, seeking anonymity.

A CBI special investigation team, formed on Friday, has started its probe after re-registering three first information reports of Manipur police and is in the process of taking over all documents from the state government.

At least 105 people have been killed and nearly 40,000 displaced in the clashes between the Kukis, who mostly reside in the hill districts, and the Meiteis, the dominant community in Imphal Valley, since May 3.

Security agencies have estimated that over 3,500 weapons and half a million rounds of ammunition have been stolen in the riot-hit state, out of which 953 arms, 13,351 munitions and 223 bombs have been recovered till Friday.

Also read: Supreme Court declines urgent hearing of plea against Manipur internet shutdown

Over 100 companies of central armed police forces such as the Central Reserve Police Force and Border Security Force have been deployed in the northeastern state to assist local police since the ethnic violence broke out last month. The army, too, has been deployed in the state to maintain law and order.

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    Utpal is a Senior Assistant Editor based in Guwahati. He covers seven states of North-East India and heads the editorial team for the region. He was previously based in Kathmandu, Dehradun and Delhi with Hindustan Times.

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