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'We won't allow Manipur to break': Amit Shah stresses on peace and unity in Imphal

At least 219 people were killed after ethnic clashes broke out in Manipur on May 3 last year, when a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.

Edited By: Arushi Jaiswal @JaiswalArushi Imphal Published on: April 15, 2024 21:27 IST
Manipur violence, Amit Shah
Image Source : X/@AMITSHAH Union Home Minister Amit Shah addressed a massive rally in Imphal.

Manipur violence: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday said that the BJP government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not let anyone divide Manipur, adding that the central government’s priority is to establish peace in the ethnic strife-affected northeastern state.

Addressing a public rally in Imphal on Monday, the Union Home Minister said, “The most important thing is that no matter how much one tries- ‘hum Manipur ko tutne nahi denge  (we won't allow Manipur to break).” 

He further said that the Lok Sabha election is between the forces trying to break Manipur and those keeping it united. “This election is to make Modi the prime minister for the third time. This election is not between the Congress and the BJP but between forces who talk about breaking Manipur and who want to keep Manipur united,” Shah said.

'Modi govt top priority to bring peace in Manipur'

Shah also alleged that attempts of infiltration were being made in the northeastern state to change its demography. “Establishment of peace in Manipur by taking all communities on board and without breaking the state is the priority of the Narendra Modi government," he said.

The Home Minister emphasised that the transformation of the northeast and Manipur will catalyse a significant shift in the destiny of the entire country. “The Congress has an agenda to divide Manipur. But I want to say no one has the courage to divide Manipur,” he said.

'Congress wants to divide the country'

The Union Minister accused the Congress of attempting to sow division within the country along North-South lines. “The Congress says what will happen by going to small states but these small states are the soul of the country. Congress never honoured Manipur and kept the state under blockade for thousands of days. Not just bandhs, fake encounters were also conducted by the Ibobi Singh government," Shah said.

Okram Ibobi Singh, representing the Congress party, served as the Chief Minister of the northeastern state from 2012 to 2017, after which N Biren Singh, affiliated with the BJP, assumed office. "I want to tell this today that our (CM) Biren Singh may not say this, but he kept a big demand before PM Modi - Manipur cannot remain united without the Inner Line Permit (ILP). The BJP government has strengthened Manipur by giving Inner Line Permit."

The ILP is a travel document required by people to visit states where it is in force. The ILP regime came into effect in Manipur on January 1, 2020.

He said that a large number of people were killed in earlier ethnic conflicts in the region. “More than 700 people were killed in the Kuki Naga conflict. The Kuki-Paite clashes claimed over 300 lives. In the clashes between Meiteis and Pangals, 100 people were killed," he said.

Manipur violence

At least 219 people have been killed and several hundred injured since ethnic violence broke out in Manipur on May 3 last year, when a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the hill districts to protest against the majority Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe status. The conflict underscores deep-seated tensions among Manipur's diverse ethnic groups, including the Meiteis, Nagas, and Kukis, highlighting the urgent need for effective conflict resolution measures. Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur’s population and live mostly in the Imphal valley, while tribals, including Nagas and Kukis, constitute 40 per cent and reside mostly in the hill districts.

(With agencies input)

Also Read: PM Modi on Manipur: 'Marked improvement in situation due to timely intervention by Centre'

Also Read: Army officer abducted from home in Manipur in fourth such incident since May 2023: Reports

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