On the third day of his ongoing visit to violence-hit Manipur, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on Wednesday the government is committed to restoring peace as early as possible and ensuring the return of all displaced people to their homes.
Mr Shah also reviewed the security situation during the day with top officials in Imphal and the border town Moreh and directed them to take stern and prompt actions against armed people to prevent violence and recover looted weapons to bring back normalcy at the earliest.
The home minister assured the people that the supply of essential items in hill areas and helicopter services for emergency needs in Churachandpur, Moreh and Kangpokpi will be ensured.
“Visited a relief camp in Kangpokpi and met the Kuki community members there. We are committed to restoring peace in Manipur as early as possible and ensuring their return to their homes,” he tweeted.
In Imphal, Mr Shah visited a relief camp where the members of the Meitei community are residing and conveyed the government’s resolve to bring Manipur back on the path of peace and harmony once again and ensure the return of people to their homes at the earliest.
At Kangpokpi, he convened a meeting with civil society organisations who said they are keen to actively participate with the government in reviving harmony among communities in Manipur.
Earlier in the day, the home minister visited Moreh, located along the border with Myanmar, and held a review meeting there to take stock of the security situation in the state.
He also met a delegation of the Kuki community and a team representing others communities in Moreh and they expressed strong support for the government’s initiatives to restore normalcy.
“On the third day of his visit to Manipur, the union home minister visited Moreh and Kangpokpi and had wide-ranging discussions with civil society organisations. He met the delegation of the hill tribal council, Kuki Students Organisation, Kuki Chiefs Association, Tamil Sangam, Gorkha Samaj and Manipuri Muslim council in Moreh. The delegates expressed strong support for the government’s initiatives to restore normalcy in the state,” the home ministry said in a statement.
In Kangpokpi, Mr Shah met delegations of civil society organisations such as the Committee on Tribal Unity, Kuki Inpi Manipur, Kuki Student organisation, Thadou Inpi and prominent personalities and intellectuals He assured that the supply of essential items in hill areas and helicopter services for emergency needs in Churachandpur, Moreh and Kangpokpi will be ensured.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister N Biren Singh appealed to people to surrender weapons looted from security forces and warned of legal action against anyone found to be in unauthorised and illegal possession of arms and ammunition.
In a signed statement, the chief minister also appealed to all concerned in Manipur not to block roads or hinder the free movement of security personnel and relief material.
Such roadblocks were making it extremely difficult for security and police personnel to respond to attacks by armed groups on time, Mr Singh said.
The home minister is on a four-day visit to Manipur and making efforts to restore peace to the state.
On Tuesday, the Meitei and Kuki groups expressed commitment to peace and assured that they would work for restoring normalcy in the trouble-torn state.
Mr Shah also held a security review meeting with senior officials of the Manipur Police, Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) and Army in Imphal on Tuesday.
He had said peace and prosperity of Manipur are the government’s top priority and instructed them to strictly deal with any activities that disturb peace.
This is the first time the home minister is visiting the northeastern state since the ethnic clashes began in Manipur on May 3.
The state witnessed a sudden spurt in clashes and firing between insurgents and security forces on Sunday, after a relative lull for over a fortnight. The death count from clashes has gone up to 80, officials said.
The ethnic violence first broke out after a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the hill districts on May 3 to protest the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.
The violence was preceded by tension over the eviction of Kuki villagers from reserve forest land, which had led to a series of smaller agitations.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)