Amid the tense situation in Manipur, peace initiatives see the light of the day

Although the situation in Manipur didn't normalise even on Sunday, May 7th, peace initiatives have been rolled out by the government and others.

Ethnic violence in Manipur

The situation in Manipur has not normalised even on Sunday, May 7th. Tension continues to brew in several parts of the state, however, the capital Imphal remained relatively peaceful during the weekend.

The Indian Army has evacuated over 20,000 people from all communities in violence-hit areas of Manipur. Around 14 companies of security forces are deployed in Manipur, while the Union government is sending another 20 companies.

Amid severe violence between Meitei and Kuki communities, there have been several reports of people from both communities protecting each other in different places of the state. Civil society organisations have called upon the people of the Meitei and Kuki communities to allow safe passage to those who are in a “hostage situation” or those stuck in violence-hit areas.

Reports claim that Kuki women in the Churachandpur district even formed a human chain to protect the Meitei people, who are in the minority in the district, from a feral mob. The Meiteis were evacuated by the Indian Army from the region.

In the meantime, Manipur’s Chief Minister N Biren Singh appealed to all political parties in the state to cooperate with the government in defusing the tension and reinstating peace. Former chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh reportedly agreed to cooperate with the government on the issue.

Apart from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the all-party meeting was attended by the members of the Indian National Congress (INC), the Communist Party of India (CPI), Janata Dal (United) [JD(U)], Naga People’s Front (NPF), Shiv Sena, All-India Trinamool Congress (AITC), Manipur People’s Party (MPP), Manipur National Democratic Front, All-India Forward Bloc (AIFB), Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), and other stakeholders.

Following the all-party discussion, the BJP and other parties agreed to form a committee in each assembly constituency to ensure that peace initiatives are implemented. The government appealed to all citizens to refrain from taking any action that can lead to further violence or escalation of tension.

Although several peace measures are taken by the BJP government, the administration is worried about the law and order situation in the state. The Union government led by the BJP has already taken over the law and order of the state using Article 355 of the constitution; however, it’s feared that tension will continue in the state until the weapons looted by miscreants from police stations are recovered.

Several photographs and videos showing mobs armed with looted weapons flooded social media, causing severe ignominy to the BJP government. It’s also a cause of concern as much of this weapon may reach militant groups that have their bases in Myanmar, across the international border.

Youth organisation Arambai Tenggol has denied the accusations that its members have looted weapons from the police stations. Arambai Tenggol said dissemination of such misinformation can malign its reputation. It appealed to the people that if anyone has looted weapons from the police, they should return them within 24 hours.

The Indian Army and the paramilitary forces have tightened security of the state and have resorted to drone surveillance to track militants who have sneaked into India following the ruckus created on Wednesday, May 3rd, after a tribal rally reportedly came under attack at the Churachandpur district.

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