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MHA to talk to Meiteis, Kukis in Manipur to bridge ethnic divide: Amit Shah

DIMAPUR, JUNE 17: Union Home Minister Amit Shah today underscored the importance of coordinated approach to resolve the ongoing ethnic conflict in Manipur and said that the Ministry of Home Affairs will talk to both the groups, Meiteis and Kukis, so as to bridge the ethnic divide, at the earliest.
Government of India has been actively supporting the Manipur Government in strengthening the security situation in the State, he said during a high-level meeting to review the security situation in Manipur, at New Delhi today.
According to a PIB release, the Home Minister did holistic review of security situation in Manipur and directed to ensure that no further incident of violence take place in Manipur.
He stressed upon strategic deployment of the Central forces to restore peace and tranquility in Manipur. He added that the forces will be increased, if required.
He further directed that strict action must be taken as per law against the perpetrators of violence.
Union Home Minister said that the Government of India, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is fully committed to ensure safety and security of all citizens of Manipur. Amit Shah also reviewed the situation in relief camps, especially in respect of proper availability of food, water, medicines and other basic amenities.
Shah directed Chief Secretary of Manipur to ensure proper health and education facilities for the displaced people and their rehabilitation.
The meeting was attended by the Chief of Army Staff General Manoj Pande, Union Home Secretary, Director, Intelligence Bureau (IB), Chief of Army Staff (Designate) Lt. General Upendra Dwivedi, Security Advisor to Government of Manipur, Director General of Assam Rifles, Chief Secretary, Director General of Police (DGP) of Manipur and senior officials of Army and Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
At the high-level meeting, Shah was given a detailed briefing on the prevailing situation in the State by top security officials, sources said.
The Home Minister took stock of the situation in Manipur a day after the State’s Governor Anusuiya Uikey had called on him here. It is believed that Uikey apprised him about the law and order situation there.
There were reports of fresh violence in capital Imphal and Jiribam recently. The Centre is said to be worried over the violence spreading to new areas like Jiribam, which has been by and large peaceful in the last 1 year, the sources said.
During the meeting, Manipur Government representatives said that adequate forces were deployed in the areas where fresh violence was reported, they said.
Security Advisor to the Manipur Government Kuldiep Singh, DGP Rajiv Singh and Chief Secretary Vineet Joshi attended the meeting on behalf of the State Government.
However, Chief Minister N Biren Singh was not present at the meeting.
Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, Director of Intelligence Bureau Tapan Deka, Army Chief Gen Manoj Pande, Army Chief-designate Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi and other senior officials were present at the hour-long meeting.
Ethnic violence broke out in Manipur on May 3, 2023 after a tribal solidarity march in the hill districts of the State to protest against the majority Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe status.
Since then, over 220 people belonging to both Kuki and Meitei communities and security personnel have been killed in the continuing violence.
Shah’s review of the Manipur situation came a day after he took a similar meeting on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.
On June 10, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat expressed concern over peace eluding Manipur even after 1 year and said the situation in the strife-torn State must be considered with priority.
Addressing a gathering of RSS trainees in Nagpur, he had said, “Manipur is waiting for peace for the last 1 year. There was peace in Manipur 10 years ago. It felt like gun culture had finished there. But the State has suddenly seen violence”.
Bhagwat said the situation in Manipur will have to be considered with priority and there is need to get over election rhetoric and focus on problems facing the nation. Jammu and Kashmir and Manipur are believed to be drawing attention of the Modi Government’s 3rd term as both the States have been witnessing unrest for long.
(Page News Service/PTI)