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At least now, stem violence in Manipur

At least now, stem violence in Manipur

The chief minister’s convoy was attacked last week.

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Last Updated : 16 June 2024, 18:51 IST
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The ambush of the advance security convoy of Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh on June 10 is continuing evidence of the anarchy that has gripped the state for over a year. He was on his way to visit Jiribam, a district which borders Assam, where a man was murdered and a police station and many houses were set on fire. The security situation in a state can well be imagined when a chief minister’s convoy is attacked. Jiribam district had been free of the violence that had ravaged the state, but the unrest has now spread there also. Thousands of people have fled to Assam from the district after the recent incidents. Those displaced from their homes in the past year are still in camps or in relatives’ houses far away from their homes. Livelihoods, education, and normal life remain disrupted for most people of the state. 

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s recent advice to the central government to take steps to restore normalcy shows the rising concern over Manipur even among those politically on the government’s side. The government has been recalcitrant and indifferent to the state and has left it to bleed. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has visited the North-East many times this past year but has not gone to Manipur. He has evaded mention of the state except when he claimed in an election speech that the situation had improved because of the efforts of the state government and the intervention of the central government. But the situation has only worsened and violence and tensions have spread to new areas. Both the Lok Sabha seats in the state elected Congress candidates and that should be taken as a vote of disapproval on the handling of the situation by the state and central governments. 

The chief minister has been a part of the state’s problem. He has never accepted the reality of the situation–he claims the strife is caused by outsiders. He has also been partial to the Meitei group, to which he belongs, and has dubbed the tribal Kukis trouble-makers. Even the Supreme Court has said that the Constitutional machinery has broken down in Manipur. Beyond the Constitutional, political and communal dimensions, the human situation in Manipur is terrible. The nation cannot lose sight of it. Bhagwat was reminding the government of it when he said priority should be given to restoring peace in the state.

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