Union Minister Amit Shah is scheduled to visit violence-hit Manipur today to hold talks with stakeholders. Chief minister N Biren Singh claimed that at least 40 Kuki militants have been killed in a coordinated security operation in Imphal valley in the past four days after fresh clashes erupted yesterday.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah is to travel to Manipur on a four-day visit during which he will hold several rounds of security meetings to assess the situation and plan steps to restore normalcy, as per reports. It is said that he will be reaching Imphal today evening and will stay there til June 1. This is Shah's first visit to the northeastern state since the ethnic clashes broke out on May 3.
Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Sunday said nearly 40 armed militants involved in torching houses and firing at civilians have been killed by security forces since they began an operation to bring peace to the north eastern state beset by ethnic rioting.
Separately, police officials said on Sunday said at least two persons were killed and 12 injured in different instances of firing upon civilians and clashes between militants and security forces since the early hours of the day.
At Phayeng in Imphal West district, one person died and another sustained bullet injuries after being fired at by suspected Kuki militants, police officials said.
The latest clashes began after the army and para-military forces commenced combing operations to de-arm communities in order to bring peace, officials said. The Chief Minister who was interacting with the media persons at the state secretariat, claimed the latest round of “conflict is not between communities but between militants and security forces”.
Singh also said that there had been cases of armed militants firing at civilians with AK-47s, M-16 and sniper rifles. These militants were targeted by security forces in counter-attacks.
Amit Shah on Thursday appealed to the people of Manipur to maintain peace and promised that justice will be ensured to all sections of society. Shah, while laying the foundation stone of the tenth campus of the National Forensic Sciences University (NFSU) at Changsari in Assam's Kamrup district, said he will travel to Manipur to help resolve disputes.
During the last six years, prior to the recent clashes, there was no blockade or bandh in Manipur and "people must ensure the return of such a situation again". "Charcha ke saath hi shanti ho sakti hain (Peace can only be restored through dialogue)," he said.
Congress-led delegation to meet President
The Congress on Sunday launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the recent violence in Manipur, saying a horrific tragedy is unfolding there while the PM is obsessed about his "self-coronation".
A delegation led by Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge will be calling on President Droupadi Murmu on Tuesday morning regarding the situation in the state, according to party general secretary Jairam Ramesh.
He said 25 days after Manipur started burning, things turned from bad to worse on the eve of the long-awaited visit of Union Home Minister Amit Shah to Imphal. "Despite Article 355 being imposed, there's a total and complete breakdown of law and order and administration in the state," Ramesh said on Twitter.
25 days after Manipur started burning, things have turned from bad to worse on the eve of the long-awaited visit of the Union Home Minister to Imphal. Despite Article 355 being imposed there’s a total and complete breakdown of law & order and administration in the state.— Jairam Ramesh (@Jairam_Ramesh) May 28, 2023
Clashes broke out in Manipur after a 'Tribal Solidarity March' was organised in the hill districts on May 3 to protest against the Meitei community's demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status. The violence in Manipur was preceded by tension over the eviction of Kuki villagers from reserve forest land, which had led to a series of smaller agitations.
(With inputs from PTI)