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Manipur: Chorus For Peace Grows Louder As Violence Continues

Manipur CM N Biren Singh on Sunday spoke to his Mizoram counterpart, Chief Minister Zoramthanga urging him to ensure the security of the people from the Meitei community living in the neighbouring state.

Manipur Violence
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The violence between Meitei and Kuki communities in Manipur that started early May continues and more than 100 people have lost their lives in the clashes so far. An Army soldier sustained gunshot wounds in his left leg after unidentified men resorted to unprovoked firing in Imphal West district on Sunday. Amid the ongoing violence, on Tuesday, the Manipur High Court directed the state government to provide limited internet services in some designated places to carry out essential services including admission processes. Meanwhile, women from Manipur have travelled to the national capital urging the Central government to look at them as "individuals and citizens" torn in ethnic violence. 

Taking stock of the situation,  Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Monday appealed to the Meitei community to maintain peace so that "normalcy can be restored" in the northeastern state. He also warned the people of consequences if they do not stop escalating violence in the state. 

“Stop it (violence). Otherwise, they will face the consequences. I also appeal to the people... Meitei people who are with arms ... not to attack anything and maintain peace so that we can restore normalcy in the state,” Singh told reporters.

The chief minister also said his government will build 3,000-4,000 pre-fabricated houses to accommodate people who had to flee from their houses during the ongoing violence in the northeastern state. “People are suffering... The state government is going to construct pre-fabricated houses to accommodate them (those living in relief camps) temporarily till a permanent arrangement is made to shift them to their previous places,” the chief minister said, according to a report by PTI. 

Meanwhile, Singh on Sunday spoke to his Mizoram counterpart, Chief Minister Zoramthanga urging him to ensure the security of the people from the Meitei community living in the neighbouring state. During a telephonic conversation, Singh sought "measures for the Mizoram Meitei to settle peacefully".

“I informed him about the apprehension faced by the Meiteis living in Mizoram and he assured me of their safety," Singh said.

Responding to Singh's appeal, Zoramthanga said that Mizoram bemoans the ongoing violence and has taken steps to abate the same in the state. He further stated that Mizoram supports the steps taken by the Manipur government and the Centre to monitor the escalating violence in the state. 

 

However, in the tweet describing the telephonic conversation, Zoramthanga did not mention if Singh had asked him to take measures for the Kuki community as well.

Meanwhile, in a possible response to Singh’s appeal for peace, an Assam-based Meitei organisation on Monday cancelled its proposed economic blockade on National Highway-306 linking Silchar in Assam with Aizawl, the capital of Mizoram.

NH-306/6 is the lifeline of Mizoram linking the state with Assam and the rest of the country.

Army man injured

In a fresh attack on Sunday, the soldier was shot at Kanto Sabal village adjoining Leimakhong (Chingmang).

According to PTI, an official said the soldier was evacuated to the military hospital at Leimakhong and is said to be stable.

Soon after the incident, Army Columns resorted to controlled retaliatory fire keeping in view presence of villagers in the area.

Unidentified men also set three houses on fire in Chinmang village, which was later doused by the Army.
 

Clashes first broke out in Manipur on May 3 after a 'Tribal Solidarity March' was organised in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community's demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status. A large number of houses were burnt and more than 100 people have lost their lives in the ethnic violence.

Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur's population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley. Tribals - Nagas and Kukis - constitute another 40 per cent of the population and reside in the hill districts.

Army and paramilitary forces have been deployed in the state to restore peace in the northeastern state.

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