Last Updated on June 30, 2023 by SPN Editor
Imphal/June 30, 2023 (SPN) | In a bid to address the escalating clashes between the Meitei and Chin-Kuki communities in Manipur, Rahul Gandhi visited Manipur amid protests from some people on Thursday.
The violence has resulted in a distressing death toll of over 100 people, with 400 others wounded and tens of thousands displaced from their homes. The situation has been a cause for concern, prompting the intervention of political leaders and a call for the restoration of peace.
The conflict was triggered by Chin-Kuki who torched the Forest offices and Meitei houses on May 3, during a peace rally in Churachandpur.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has faced criticism for not personally visiting the state or offering comments on the ongoing situation. Nevertheless, he recently held a meeting with top government officials to review the conditions in Manipur.
Home Minister Amit Shah also paid a visit to the state, aiming to establish a plan to restore normalcy. Despite these efforts, fresh incidents of violence continue to be reported almost daily.
Upon his arrival in Imphal, the capital of Manipur, Rahul Gandhi expressed his commitment to prioritizing the restoration of peace. In a Facebook post, he emphasized the urgent need for healing and unity, highlighting the importance of collective efforts in achieving harmony in the state.
However, his visit was not without obstacles. While en route to Churachandpur town to visit relief camps, Rahul Gandhi’s convoy was halted by the police near Bishnupur district.
Senior Congress leader KC Venugopal expressed confusion and frustration regarding the sudden obstruction, as supporters lined the roads to greet Rahul Gandhi.
The police defended their actions, citing security concerns and suggesting that he proceed to Churachandpur via helicopter instead.
Mallikarjun Kharge, the president of the Congress Party, accused the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government of employing autocratic methods to impede Rahul Gandhi’s compassionate outreach.
Kharge condemned the government’s actions, claiming they violated constitutional and democratic norms. He stressed that Manipur urgently requires peace rather than confrontation.
Supporters of Rahul Gandhi and the Congress Party defended the visit, drawing parallels to his Bharat Jodo Yatra—a unity march across the country.
Jairam Ramesh, a Congress MP, argued that Rahul Gandhi’s efforts to engage with various sections of Manipuri society and provide a healing touch should not be curtailed. In contrast, some BJP leaders criticized the timing of his visit, alleging political motivations.
The situation in Manipur remains grim, with approximately 60,000 individuals displaced by the ongoing violence seeking refuge in around 350 camps.
Amidst the chaos, Congress leaders have called for the resignation of Manipur’s Chief Minister, N Biren Singh. They contend that Biren has failed to restore peace and normalcy, advocating for the imposition of President rule in Manipur.