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.
"It's a horrific tragedy unfolding while the prime minister is obsessed about his self-coronation. Not a single appeal of peace issued by him nor has there been a genuine outreach to rebuild trust between communities," he said in an apparent reference to the inauguration of the new Parliament building by Modi.
Earlier in the day, Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh 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 northeastern state beset by ethnic rioting.
Separately, police officials on Sunday said at least two people 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.
Ethnic clashes, which have claimed over 75 lives, first 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 was preceded by tension over the eviction of Kuki villagers from reserve forest land, which had led to a series of smaller agitations.
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. Around 140 columns of the Indian Army and Assam Rifles, comprising over 10,000 personnel, besides those from other paramilitary forces had to be deployed to bring back normalcy in the northeastern state.