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Manipur tribal leaders to meet Amit Shah to discuss prevailing situation

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Imphal, Feb 5:  A delegation of various tribal organisations from Manipur is expected to meet Home Minister Amit Shah and officials of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in Delhi to discuss the current situation in the northeastern state.

The tribal leaders’ delegation to meet the Home Minister and MHA officials comprises leaders of Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF), Committee on Tribal Unity, Kuki Inpi Manipur, Zomi Council, Hill Tribal Council and all tribe councils.

Senior ITLF leader and spokesman Ginza Vualzong said that the tribal leaders’ delegation would reach Delhi late on Monday night. They are expected to meet the MHA officials Tuesday or Wednesday.

ITLF sources said that they would discuss the prevailing law and order situation in Manipur and the distress of people affected by the ethnic unrest since May 2023.

Ten tribal MLAs of Manipur, including seven from the ruling BJP and all the tribal organisations have been demanding a separate administration (equivalent to separate state) for the tribals.

The demand was on a number of occasions rejected by the Union Home Minister, Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh and the ruling BJP.

Last week, Biren Singh held separate meetings with Shah and MHA officials in Delhi. He had said the Centre is set to take some important decisions keeping in mind the interests of the people of Manipur.

A senior official in Imphal said that the Chief Minister apprised Shah and the Home Ministry officials of the latest situation in Manipur, especially in the bordering town of Moreh.

In the recent violent incidents, two Manipur police commandos, several village volunteers and villagers were killed, while many others were injured, including a BSF trooper, in attacks by suspected armed militants in different parts of the riot-hit state. The ITLF in a statement said that the imposition of President’s rule is the only way the central government can prevent total anarchy in Manipur.

Manipur has witnessed unprecedented violent clashes, attacks, counter-attacks, and burning of vehicles and government and private properties in 10 of the 16 districts during and after May 3 ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ called by the All-Tribal Students’ Union of Manipur to oppose the demand for inclusion of the Meitei community in the Scheduled Tribe category.

In the ethnic violence between the non-tribal Meitei and tribal Kuki-Zo communities, over 190 people have been killed and over 1,500 people injured while over 70,000 people of both communities displaced.

IANS

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