New Delhi/June 25, 2023 (SPN) | Union Home Minister Amit Shah assured an all-party delegation on Saturday that President’s Rule would not be imposed in Manipur, stating that the situation was gradually returning to normal.
The delegation, comprising members from various political parties, met with Amit Shah to discuss the ongoing Manipur crisis that has plagued the state since May 3.
During the meeting, Amit Shah disclosed that 1,800 looted weapons had been recovered and a substantial force of 36,000 Central personnel had been deployed in Manipur to restore peace and order
Opposition Questions Modi’s Silence
At the all-party meeting chaired by Amit Shah, members of the Opposition raised concerns about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s silence on the matter and demanded the resignation of Chief Minister N. Biren Singh.
While Amit Shah refrained from commenting on the Chief Minister’s removal, he assured the delegation that President’s Rule would not be imposed in the near future.
He emphasized that he had apprised the Prime Minister of the situation, even during his recent visit to the United States. Amit Shah highlighted his personal commitment to resolving the crisis and expressed the government’s priority of preventing further loss of life due to violence.
Key Statistics and Measures
The Home Ministry presented several key statistics related to the violence in Manipur. According to their report, 131 people have lost their lives in the conflict. However, Amit Shah emphasized that no killings had occurred since June 13, indicating a decline in violence.
Additionally, the ministry reported 5,036 cases of arson, 5,889 registered First Information Reports (FIRs), and 144 arrests made since May 3. To address the situation, approximately 36,000 security personnel, including 40 Indian Police Service (IPS) officers and 20 medical teams, have been deployed in the state.
Opposition Demands Resignation and Disarmament
During the meeting, CPI(M) Member of Parliament John Brittas demanded the resignation of Manipur’s Chief Minister, labeling him as “partisan and part of the problem.” Brittas also highlighted a significant disparity between the number of arrests and the number of crimes committed, with only 144 arrests made despite nearly 6,000 registered FIRs.
Responding to concerns about security forces’ limited access to certain areas due to the presence of protesting women, Amit Shah acknowledged the potential complications but did not elaborate further.
Causes of Violence and Demands for Separate Administration
The Home Ministry attributed the violence to three primary factors: legacy issues, infiltration from Myanmar, and a court order regarding the inclusion of the Meitei community in the Scheduled Tribe (ST) list.
Indirectly blaming the coup in Myanmar, Amit Shah noted that the influx of illegal migrants into Manipur was a consequence of the political unrest in the neighboring country.
The ministry revealed that 10 km of the Myanmar-Manipur border had been fenced, and the process of tendering for an additional 80 km of border fencing was complete, with surveys underway for the remaining areas.
Furthermore, various political party representatives voiced their concerns and demands during the meeting. C. Lalrosanga of the Mizo National Front (MNF) emphasized the need for a separate administration for the tribal Chin Kuki communities while emphasizing the importance of maintaining Manipur’s territorial integrity.
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Priyanka Chaturvedi of the Shiv Sena (UBT) called for accountability by urging the replacement of the Chief Minister. The DMK’s Tiruchi Siva proposed the establishment of a truth commission to address the crisis.
Commitment to Addressing Concerns
The all-party meeting witnessed the participation of 18 political parties, including the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), as well as four Members of Parliament from the Northeast region and two Chief Ministers.
Amit Shah assured the attendees that the government would consider all suggestions with an open mind. BJP President JP Nadda emphasized the need for sensitivity in handling the Manipur crisis, citing historical factors as contributors to the current Manipur violence.
Opposition Allegations and Meeting Dynamics
Opposition parties expressed dissatisfaction with the limited time provided to them for expressing their views compared to the BJP’s allies. Members noted that the first speaker at the meeting was Food Processing Minister Pashupati Kumar Paras (LJP) from Bihar, followed by the Chief Ministers of Meghalaya and Sikkim.
However, the united opposition presented a unified front, voicing their concerns and demands for immediate action like the replacement of leadership or President’s Rule.