MHA To Talk To Meiteis, Kukis In Manipur To Bridge Ethnic Divide: Amit Shah – News18

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Union Home Minister Amit Shah. (Image: PTI)

Shah reviewed the security situation in Manipur amidst reports of fresh incidents of trouble in the northeastern state

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday said the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) will talk to both Meitei and Kuki communities at the earliest so as to bridge the ethnic divide in restive Manipur.

Reviewing the security situation in Manipur here, Shah also said that the central forces deployment will be increased, if required, and that they should be deployed strategically to restore peace and tranquillity in the state, according to an official statement.

He directed that strict action must be taken as per law against the perpetrators of violence in the northeastern state.

Shah also directed to ensure that no further incident of violence take place in the state which has been witnessing ethnic clashes for over a year.

The MHA will talk to both the groups, Meiteis and Kukis, so as to bridge the ethnic divide at the earliest, Shah was quoted as saying in the statement.

He also instructed the chief secretary of Manipur to ensure proper health and education facilities for the displaced people and their rehabilitation.

The home minister said that the Centre, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is fully committed to ensure safety and security of all citizens of the northeastern state.

Shah also reviewed the situation in relief camps, especially in respect of proper availability of food, water, medicines and other basic amenities.

He underscored the importance of coordinated approach to resolve the ongoing ethnic conflict.

The Centre has been actively supporting the Manipur government in strengthening the security situation in the state, the statement said.

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 reviewed the security situation in Manipur amidst reports of fresh incidents of trouble in the northeastern state.

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 one year, the sources 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.

Shah’s review of the Manipur situation came a day after he took a similar meeting on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur’s population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley, while tribals, which include Nagas and Kukis, constitute 40 per cent and reside mainly in the hill districts.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)