Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s meeting with the Manipur cabinet late last evening has sparked five key decisions, which will be implemented across the state immediately as part of the peace process, sources said. The decisions are expected help restore normalcy in the state, where curfews have been in place since May 3 and internet has been suspended. The minister has also spoken of a probe into the violence by the Central Bureau of Investigation at a meeting with Kuki tribal leaders, sources said.
At the cabinet meeting, it was decided to take necessary action to improve law and order, expedite relief measures, provide compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the families of people who died in the ethnic clashes and a job to one family member and re-opening of BSNL telephone lines to dispel rumours, sources said.
Mr Shah has directed officials to deal strictly with activities disturbing peace in the state, sources said.
After landing in Imphal late last evening, Mr Shah had held a series of meetings. Besides Chief Minister N Biren Singh’s cabinet, he also met the Governor, security forces and administration officials.
This evening, he chaired an all-party meeting in Imphal and appealed to political leaders to help bring normalcy and communal harmony in the state. The Center, he said, is trying its best to bring peace.
“Reviewed the security situation in Manipur in a meeting with senior officials of the Manipur Police, CAPFs and the Indian Army in Imphal. Peace and prosperity of Manipur is our top priority, and instructed them to strictly deal with any activities disturbing the peace,” he later tweeted.
Reviewed the security situation in Manipur in a meeting with senior officials of the Manipur Police, CAPFs and the Indian Army in Imphal. Peace and prosperity of Manipur is our top priority, instructed them to strictly deal with any activities disturbing the peace. pic.twitter.com/RtSvGFeman
— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) May 30, 2023
In reference to the demand of 10 tribal MLAs — including seven from the ruling BJP — for a separate state for the tribals, Mr Shah said the territorial integrity of Manipur will not be affected at any cost and appealed to civil society leaders to take an active role in bringing peace in the state.
During a meeting at tribal-dominated Churachandpur, sources said the Home Minister requested leaders to take active roles in curbing violence and said a political solution would be initiated at the earliest.
Assuring a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the violence, Mr Shah also told them that a relief of 20-ton rice will shortly be given for the state’s tribal communities, sources said.
At the hour-long closed-door discussions in Churachandpur with tribal leaders, intellectuals and prominent tribal citizens, Mr Shah also noted their opinions on bringing back normalcy in the state, which has been witnessing violence for over a month, sources said.
More than 80 people have died in the ethnic clashes that started almost a month ago with a tribal solidarity march organised to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe status. It was preceded by another set of clashes over the eviction of Kuki villagers from reserve forest land.