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Wednesday, April 17 2024

Manipur tribal leaders to meet Shah on Tuesday, to press for separate state demand

Manipur tribal leaders to meet Shah on Tuesday, to press for separate state demand
Photo Credit : IANS

Imphal: Leaders of Manipur’s Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF) will meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi on Tuesday to press for its demands, which include a separate state for the trinals.

Senior ITLF leader and spokesman Ginza Vualzong said that a four-member delegation will meet the Union Minister.

“We will press for early solutions to our demands as the Manipur situation due to the misgovernance of the Chief Minister N. Biren Singh-led government has been deteriorating fast. Tribals are victims due to the state government’s anti-tribal governance,” Vualzong, who is also a member of the ITLF delegation, told IANS over phone.

The ITLF leaders claimed that since they could not travel to Imphal from Churachandpur due to the Meiteis threat, they had to go to Aizawl to board the New Delhi-bound flight.

The other demands of the ITLF include state police and commando forces should not be deployed in the hill areas of Manipur, inmates lodged in the jails in Imphal should be shifted to others states of the country and legalisation of a site for mass burial of tribals killed during the ethnic violence.

The volatile Manipur situation further escalated after the tribal organisation announced to conduct the mass burial in Churachandpur on August 3.

The move was strongly opposed by the Coordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI), an umbrella body of the Meitei community.

However, the mass burial was postponed after the Manipur High Court ordered to maintain a status-quo of the proposed burial site in Churachandpur.

In a letter to the ITLF and the COCOMI, Union Minister Nityanand Rai on August 3 appealed to maintain peace and communal harmony.

“The government of India is seized of the issue of last rites of mortal remains of those killed in ethnic violence in Manipur. The government of India appeals to all concerned to maintain peace and communal harmony and assures that it will spare no efforts to resolve the issues amicably to the utmost satisfaction of all parties within a period of seven days,” Rai said in the latter.

Since May 12, 10 tribal MLAs, including seven BJP legislators, ITLF and the influential KukiInpi Manipur (KIM) since May 12 have been demanding separate administration (equivalent to separate state) for the tribals.

Shah, Biren Singh, the ruling BJP and various other organisations, including the COCOMI, have been strongly opposing the separate administration demand.

Amidst the prevailing situation, the Kuki People’s Alliance (KPA) with two MLAs in the Manipur Assembly on Sunday withdrew its support from the BJP-led state government.

Addressing a letter to Manipur Governor Anusuiya Uikey, KPA President Tongmang Haokip said: “After careful consideration of the current conflagration, the continued support for the incumbent government of Manipur led by Chief Minister N. Biren Singh is no longer fructuous.

“Accordingly, the support of the KPA to the government of Manipur is hereby withdrawn and can be considered null and void.”

The leaders of the KPA as partners of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) had attended the NDA meeting held in Delhi on July 18.

However, the withdrawal of support by the two KPA MLAs will not affect the BJP-led government in Manipur.

In the 60-member Assembly, the BJP on its own has 32 MLAs while the National People’s Party (7 members), Janata Dal-United (6), Naga People’s Front (5) and two Independents are supporting the saffron party-led government.

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