New Delhi: Home Minister Amit Shah has appealed for an end to the ongoing violence in Manipur between the Kuki and Meitei communities. Shah made the appeal during a debate on a no-confidence motion in the Lok Sabha. He urged both communities to hold talks and find a peaceful resolution to the ethnic violence. Shah also called on opposition leaders not to politicize the issue, stating that while the violence is shameful, politicizing it is even more so.
Shah revealed that since the violence erupted on May 3, 152 people have been killed, 14,898 people arrested, and 1,106 FIRs registered. In response to the situation, the Lok Sabha adopted a resolution appealing for peace in Manipur, which was supported by members of the NDA and the opposition.
During his speech, Shah also addressed the issue of a video that surfaced on July 19, showing two women being stripped and paraded naked by a mob. He stated that the government was not aware of the video and questioned the intention behind leaking it on social media just before the Monsoon session of Parliament. Shah emphasized that such actions cannot be supported and that nine people have been identified, arrested, and are currently facing trial.
Shah highlighted the origin of the hostilities in Manipur, stating that the influx of Kuki refugees from Myanmar after a crackdown by the military rulers there in 2021 led to tensions in the region. He added that rumors of the refugee settlements being declared as villages further fueled the unrest. Shah also mentioned that the Manipur High Court’s order to fast-track the inclusion of Meiteis in the list of Scheduled Tribes added to the tensions.
To restore peace in the state, the Centre has established a peace committee and stationed over 36,000 security personnel as a buffer zone between the Kuki and Meitei communities. A unified command has also been created to coordinate between the BSF, CRPF, Assam Rifles, and Manipur police. Additionally, six cases of conspiracy have been handed over to the CBI.
Shah concluded by urging both communities to engage in dialogue with the Centre to resolve the issue, emphasizing that the government does not wish to change the demography of the region.
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