Orders strict action against perpetrators
Union Home Minister Amit Shah has given clear instructions to Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh to spare no one responsible for violence in state which has left 73 people dead, an official in the ministry has said.
The Centre has also asked the state government to begin mega outreach programmes with all ethnic communities, he added.
Biren Singh was in Delhi on Sunday and briefed the Union minister on the situation in Manipur, where violence broke out 10 days ago.
“The Chief Minister and his administration have been asked to just focus on connecting people from both ethnic communities and restore peace at the earliest,” the official said.
Shah has stressed that perpetrators of violence need to be dealt with a firm hand even if they have political affiliations.
“The Home Minister directed strict action against the perpetrators of violence and assured complete support and help of the Central government to ensure lasting peace,” he said.
Shah also held series of meetings with the representatives of the Meitei and Kuki communities and other stakeholders to review the measures being taken for restoring peace in the state.
“It was a complete review done on various law and order issues and also Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA),” another official said, referring to the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, a law that gives sweeping powers to the military and protects soldiers from legal prosecution.
Shah, he said, met the Meitei delegation on Sunday and representatives from Kuki community from Manipur and a group of Civil Society Organisation from Mizoram on Monday.
Shah assured that the government would take all measures to protect various communities in the state and urged discussion with all factions and spread the message of peace and assured that justice would be done.
It may be recalled that violent clashes took place in Manipur on May 3 during a “tribal solidarity march” in protest against Meiteis’ demand for Scheduled Tribes status.
The clashes were preceded by tension over the eviction of Kuki villagers from reserve forest land, which led to a series of smaller agitations.
Though Meities comprise 64 per cent of the state’s population, they occupy 10 per cent of the state’s territory as non-tribals are not allowed to buy land in notified hill areas. Their inclusion in the ST category will enable them to purchase land and the possibility has unleashed tribal emotions.