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As Rahul Gandhi Visits Conflict-Hit Manipur, Locals Call For Dialogue; BJP Hits Back – News18

As Rahul Gandhi Visits Conflict-Hit Manipur, Locals Call For Dialogue; BJP Hits Back – News18


Rahul Gandhi visited Manipur on Monday, his third visit to the state since the ethnic violence of May 2023. (Image: PTI)

Rahul Gandhi interacted with internally displaced people of both the sides, the Meiti as well as the Kuki-Zo tribal community, during his visit to Manipur.

Congress MP and Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Rahul Gandhi visited Manipur on Monday. This was his third visit to the northeastern state after ethnic conflict and violence hit Manipur in May 2023.

The fact that Gandhi visited Imphal, Jiribam and Churachandpur was welcomed by the common people. He interacted with internally displaced people of both the sides, the Meiti as well as the Kuki-Zo tribal community, and stated that he has come to Manipur as “their brother” and will try to do everything to bring peace there.

News18 spoke to a wide range of stakeholders in Manipur on Gandhi’s visit. It is clear that all stakeholders of Manipur are awaiting a peace dialogue. Brij Kishore Singh, Joint Secretary of ST Demand Committee, who were vocal for ST status to the Meitei people, told News18, “I think Rahul Gandhi’s visit to Manipur will make the Government of India rethink about Manipur. If we want peace in Manipur, dialogue should be there. With the present situation, we are left out. Centre should be proactive now.”

It is clear that the people of Manipur want a solution to the issue with the violence having left at least 200 people dead since May last year. A dialogue is the need of the hour to bring peace in the state.

Another human rights Meitei activist, who did not wanted to disclose his name, told News18, “At least Rahul Gandhi is giving attention to Manipur. Congress got all votes from here. He can put pressure on Centre. Displaced people want to go back home and it’s possible if a dialogue starts.”

Rahul Gandhi sat with the displaced people of both the sides. He also met women and children representatives of both sides. Mangkholien Gangte, Congress Secretary, told News18, “He spoke to all sides, and they came with their problems. We need a solution. Students are not being able to study and there are several other problems.”

Ginza Vualzong, the media and publicity representative of Indigenous Tribal Leaders Forum, told News18, “Actually Rahul Gandhi was in a hurry, he went to relief camps and met with internally displaced people. We gave him a memorandum and he said he will look into the matter. The fact that he came all the way proves he is concerned with us, and we are hopeful. Amit Shah ji has also promised that a solution will come. We also want dialogue but we don’t want Biren Singh, that’s clear.”

“An immediate political solution is required to break the cycle of violence and atrocities in Manipur for the reasons mentioned above. Clearly, the Kuki-Zo minority will never again be able to live a dignified and safe life in Manipur, given the extent of bloodshed and the radicalisation by the majority society.,” the ITLF wrote in their memorandum.

The BJP, meanwhile, hit out at Rahul Gandhi, “with party leader Amit Malviya saying, “The ethnic conflict in Manipur is a legacy of the Congress party. The State has witnessed killing of civilians, police and Army personnel for decades, while Congress was in power.”

At this point, the people of both sides are saying that talks should start so they can put forth their demands. For the common Manipuri, a solution to the long standing conflict is way above Rahul Gandhi or any other politician.





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