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HM Shah assures Justice in Manipur


NEW DELHI: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday directed strict action against the perpetrators of violence in Manipur and assured the state complete support of the Centre in ensuring lasting peace.

The directives came after Shah held a series of meetings with Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh, representatives of Meitei and Kuki communities and other stakeholders to review the measures taken in the last two days for restoring peace in the state, according to an official statement.

He also appealed for discussions with all factions and spreading the message of peace. Shah assured justice would be done, according to the statement.

He directed strict action against the perpetrators of violence and assured complete support and help of the central government for ensuring lasting peace.

The home minister assured that the government would take all measures to protect various communities in the state.

He stressed on expediting the process of relief and rehabilitation so as to minimise the suffering of the people, the statement said.

During the meetings, the home minister reviewed the measures taken for restoring peace in Manipur that has witnessed violent clashes between two ethnic communities.

Besides the chief minister, those who attended the meeting include four cabinet ministers of Manipur and a Rajya Sabha MP from the state.

Representatives of the Meitei and Kuki communities from Manipur and a group of civil society organisations from Mizoram also held separate meetings with Shah.

Violent clashes broke out in Manipur after a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the 10 hill districts on May 3 to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for the Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.

The clashes were preceded by tension over the eviction of Kuki villagers from reserve forest land, which had led to a series of smaller agitations.

At least 73 people were killed, 231 injured and 1,700 houses, including religious places, burnt in the ethnic violence that rocked the state, officials said.

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.

The chief minister’s visit to Delhi also followed the demand by 10 tribal MLAs belonging to the Chin-Kuki-Mizo-Zomi group in Manipur for a separate administration for their region in the wake of recent violent clashes between the Meiteis and tribals.

Of the 10 legislators, seven belong to the BJP, two are from Kuki People’s Alliance (KPA) and one is an Independent. The two KPA and independent MLAs are also part of the NDA led by the saffron party.

However, the chief minister on Monday rejected the demand made by the 10 MLAs for a separate administration for the Kuki-dominated districts of the northeastern state, saying, “the territorial integrity of Manipur will be protected”.


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