The ethnic violence in Manipur and resulting tensions and sporadic unrest entered the 100th day. The centre and the state government have been working to restore peace, though large-scale violence has ebbed; however, sporadic incidents keep happening.
The centre is trying to propose a peace plan, although Home Minister Amit Shah in the Lok Sabha clearly said the BJP government has no plan to change Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh.
Over 170 people have died in the violence that started on May 3 after a rally by the hill-majority Kukis against the valley-majority Meiteis’ demand for inclusion under the Scheduled Tribes (ST) status.
Over 300 were injured and more than 60,000 internally displaced. The Manipur Police said 6,500 first information reports (FIRs) have been filed.
The centre has deployed 130 companies central forces in Manipur, while the police have arrested some 300 miscreants.
In Imphal valley, women groups held a protest on Thursday demanding no division of the state and withdrawal of the Assam Rifles, to be replaced with a “more credible” force.
“We know we have to fight our own battle and there is nobody who is going to come and help us. We are doing it in our own way. We are homemakers. We have been hearing details about how Assam Rifles has been taking sides when they were supposed to protect all,” said Sushma Singh, who participated in the protest in Imphal.
In the hills, particularly in Churachandpur, from where the violence started, The Joint Students’ Body organised a rally with “village defenders” – who the Meiteis alleged include Kuki insurgent groups in large numbers – as a show of strength to mark the completion of 100 days since May 3.
“Today, we organised a massive rally to commemorate our young brothers and sisters who have given their lives in this conflict, and to remember the village volunteers who are in the frontline,” said Samuel Taithul, a student leader from Churachandpur.
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