Govt failed to control Manipur ethnic strife; PM shows 'brazen indifference': Opposition

In a memorandum submitted to Manipur Governor Anusuiya Uikey, the 21 opposition MPs who signed the document demanded urgent rehabilitation and resettlement of the affected people to bring peace and harmony to the state.

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  30 July 2023 9:30 AM GMT
Govt failed to control Manipur ethnic strife; PM shows brazen indifference: Opposition

Representational Image. 

Imphal: Stating that the government machinery has completely failed to control the Manipur ethnic conflict, which is lingering for nearly three months, opposition bloc INDIA on Sunday slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his "silence", showing "brazen indifference" to the ongoing situation in the northeastern state.

In a memorandum submitted to Manipur Governor Anusuiya Uikey, the 21 opposition MPs who signed the document demanded urgent rehabilitation and resettlement of the affected people to bring peace and harmony to the state.

"From the reports of incessant firing and arson of houses in the last few days, it is established beyond doubt that the state machinery has completely failed to control the situation for the last almost three months," the memorandum read.

The continued internet ban for the last three months is aiding the unsubstantiated rumours, which is adding to the existing mistrust among the communities, the Parliamentarians said.

"Silence of Hon'ble Prime Minister shows his brazen indifference to the violence in Manipur," they added in the memorandum. There is anger and a sense of alienation amongst all communities and it has to be addressed without delay, they said.

"We earnestly request you to restore peace and harmony taking all effective measures, where justice should be the cornerstone. In order to bring peace and harmony, rehabilitation and resettlement of the affected persons is most urgent," the MPs told the governor.

"You are also requested to apprise the Union government of the complete breakdown of law and order in Manipur for the last 89 days so as to enable them to intervene in the precarious situation in Manipur to restore peace and normalcy," they added.

The document also stressed that the "failure of both the central and state governments" to protect the lives and properties of the people of the two communities is apparent from the figures of more than 140 deaths (over 160 deaths as per official records), over 500 injuries, burning of more than 5,000 houses and internal displacement of over 60,000 people.

The opposition delegation had arrived in Manipur on Saturday to assess the ground situation and meet victims of the three-month-long ethnic riots in the state.

On the first day of their two-day whirlwind tour, they visited several relief camps in Imphal, Moirang in Bishnupur district and Churachandpur and met scores of victims of ethnic clashes from both the warring communities.

Talking about their visit, the Parliamentarians said in the memorandum that they interacted with the victims taking shelter in the relief camps.

"We are, indeed, very shocked and sad to hear the stories of anxieties, uncertainties, pains and sorrows of the individuals affected by the unprecedented violence unleashed by both sides since the beginning of the clashes," they added.

The memorandum highlighted that the condition in the relief camps is pathetic, to say the least, and special care needs to be taken for the kids on a priority basis.

"Students from different streams are facing uncertain future, which has to be the priority of the state and the Union governments," it added.

Later, sharing a copy of the memorandum on Twitter, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh slammed Modi and claimed that the anger, anxiety, anguish, pain and sorrow of the people of Manipur make "absolutely no difference" to him.

"While he is busy listening to his own voice and forcing down his 'Mann ki Baat' on crores of Indians, the 21 MP delegation of Team INDIA is talking about Manipur ki Baat with the Governor of Manipur," Ramesh added.

The delegation members left for Delhi on Sunday afternoon after submitting the memorandum to the governor.

Besides Chowdhury and Congress' Deputy Leader in the Lok Sabha Gaurav Gogoi, the delegation included Sushmita Dev (TMC), Mahua Maji (JMM), Kanimozhi Karunanidhi (DMK), P P Mohammed Faizal (NCP), Chaudhary Jayant Singh (RLD), Manoj Kumar Jha (RJD), N K Premachandran (RSP) and T Thirumavalavan (VCK).

JD(U) chief Rajiv Ranjan (Lalan) Singh and his party colleague Aneel Prasad Hegde, CPI's Sandosh Kumar, CPI(M)'s A A Rahim, SP's Javed Ali Khan, IUML's E T Mohammed Basheer, AAP's Sushil Gupta, VCK's D Ravikumar and Arvind Sawant (Shiv Sena-UBT), and Phulo Devi Netam and K Suresh of the Congress were also part of the delegation.

More than 160 people lost their lives and several hundreds were injured since ethnic clashes 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.

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

Inputs from PTI

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