Last Updated: July 23, 2023, 20:15 IST
Manipur is gradually moving towards peace and the reports of exodus amid ethnic crisis are false, top government sources told CNN-News18.
“It is purely an ethnic crisis without any external reason,” sources said, adding, “The Centre has done its best to ensure peace and run support structure in the state. There have been no reports of killing in 10 days.”
Manipur is witnessing an ethnic conflict between Meiteis and Kukis since May 3, when violence broke out during ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ organised in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.
More than 160 people have lost their lives, and several have been injured in the violence. Meiteis account for 53% of Manipur’s population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley, while tribals, including Nagas and Kukis, constitute 40% and reside mostly in the hill districts.
The Manipur police arrested on Saturday two more people, including a juvenile, taking the total number of arrests over the strip-and-parade horror of two women in Kangpokpi on May 4 to six.
Government sources say the first aim will be to maintain support infrastructure. The second priority will be to open schools, so that more normalcy is visible, they added.
“Forces will remain on ground till all communities accept each other. We are fully restrained despite many violations including of section 144. The government knows that during these situations, emotions are very high,” they said.
Soon more open discussions will start between all community leaders to sustain peace, sources said.
HIMANTA BISWA SARMA BLAMES CONGRESS
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma alleged that the ethnic conflicts in Manipur have “genesis in faulty politics” of previous Congress governments in the state. He also accused the Congress of displaying “duplicity” in its interest in Manipur now vis-a-vis when its leaders “didn’t even utter a word” when the northeastern state was in turmoil under the grand old party’s regimes at the state and Centre.
“The pain arising from multi-ethnic conflicts in Manipur has its genesis in faulty policies of Congress governments during formative years of the state. Repairing faultlines created by 7 decades of misgovernance will take time,” Sarma wrote in a series of tweets on Saturday.
Cong is suddenly displaying immense interest in Manipur. Important to rewind a bit and look at PM Manmohan Singh’s own response to similar crises in the State.The party’s duplicity is simply alarming.
A Thread – 1/7
— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) July 22, 2023
He claimed that since 2014, there has been “tremendous healing of Manipur’s social fabric” and the “process of resolving decades-old ethnic conflicts will be completed in totality under the leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minster Shri @narendramodi ji”.
Hitting out at the grand old party, he wrote, “Cong is suddenly displaying immense interest in Manipur. Important to rewind a bit and look at PM Manmohan Singh’s own response to similar crises in the state. The party’s duplicity is simply alarming.”
With PTI Inputs