Sunday, April 21, 2024
North East

Illegal immigrants, drug mafia reasons for ethnic violence in Manipur: CM Biren Singh

Imphal, December 18: Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Monday blamed drug mafia and illegal immigrants for the ethnic strife that has rocked the northeastern state for months.
Singh also attributed the current crisis to the “failure” of the previous government in guarding the state’s borders.
Nearly 200 people have died and over 60,000 have been rendered homeless due to the ethnic conflict between the Kuki and Meitei communities since May.
“The present conflict is engineered by drug mafia groups and illegal immigrants who have suppressed the voice of the original tribes. The war is not between Meiteis and Kukis but between the government and the illegal immigrants,” Singh told a gathering at Lilong in Thoubal district.
“Everyday, I keep contact and communicate with my old Kuki friends through phone. They are helpless and unable to speak the truth as they are being intimidated by guns,” the CM said.
Singh said “more than 6,000 immigrants have entered Kamjong district from Myanmar” due to fighting between the neighbouring country’s military and anti-junta groups.
Police teams have been sent to monitor the situation, collect biometric details and make arrangements to provide them temporary shelters, he said.
“We are not against Chin Kuki, but only against those illegal immigrants. We simply want to identify those illegal sections by taking their biometric details and later have them leave when the situation in Myanmar improves,” Singh said.
He asserted, “Where is the mistake if I stressed on stopping illegal immigration? Will we agree to continuous influx and eventual suppression of the indigenous populace… original communities of the state becoming smaller and becoming a minority?” said the chief minister.
Commenting on the previous government, Singh said “The current crisis is due to their failure to properly enforce laws in the state. If they had fenced the almost 400-km international borders, cancelled the Free Movement Regime, this situation would not have come up.”
Singh also asked the security forces to take strict action against illegal possession of weapons and those taking the law into their own hands.
“If this is not checked immediately, it has the potential to create misunderstanding among communities and unwanted incidents,” he warned. (PTI)