Amit Shah appeals for peace in Manipur, says attempts to politicise issue shameful


NEW DELHI: Appealing with ”folded hands” for an end to the three-month-long cycle of violence in Manipur, Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday urged warring Kuki and Meitei communities to hold talks, as Lok Sabha adopted a resolution calling for the restoration of peace in the northeastern state.

Intervening in the debate on the no-confidence motion after Rahul Gandhi and other opposition leaders slammed the government’s handling of the Manipur situation, Shah urged them not to politicise the issue of ethnic violence in the state.

Intervening in the debate on the no-confidence motion after Rahul Gandhi and other opposition leaders slammed the government’s handling of the Manipur situation, Shah urged them not to politicise the issue of ethnic violence in the state.

”I agree with the opposition that there is a cycle of violence in Manipur … Nobody can support such incidents. Whatever happened is shameful, but to politicise those events is even more shameful,” Shah said.

“Through this House, I appeal with folded hands to both the communities that violence is not a solution for any problem, join the talks. Sit down with the Government and find a solution to the problem. Rumours only create an atmosphere of distrust,” he said.

The minister said 152 people were killed, 14,898 people arrested and 1,106 FIRs registered since violence erupted on May 3.

Lok Sabha also adopted a resolution read out by Speaker Om Birla appealing for peace in Manipur that was enthusiastically supported by the NDA members in the presence of the opposition.

In his nearly two-hour intervention, Shah ruled out a change of guard in Manipur asserting that the chief minister was cooperating with the Centre in the efforts to restore peace.

He rejected the opposition demand to impose President’s Rule in Manipur saying the need would have arisen had the chief minister been non-cooperative.

”We changed the chief secretary, director general of police a day after the violence broke out. We also appointed a security advisor and made him incharge of the unified command mechanism,” he said.

On the video of the May 4 incident, in which two women were stripped and paraded naked by a mob, that appeared on July 19, saying the government was not aware of it. He also questioned the intention of leaking the video on social media ahead of the Monsoon session of Parliament.

”Why did it emerge a day before the parliament session? Had the video been given to the DGP on May 4, the culprits would have been arrested on May 5. Nine people were identified, arrested, and are facing trial on the day the video came to light,” he said.

Shah spoke on the origin of hostilities and urged the two warring communities to come to the dialogue table. ”I urge both communities (Kukis and Meiteis) to sit with the Centre and talk to resolve the issue. We do not wish to change the demography. I am talking to them personally. Please do not politicise this,” he said.

Shah said violence in Manipur was witnessing a downward trend as of the total 152 deaths so far, 107 had taken place in May, 30 in June, 15 in July and four in August.

Shah lashed out at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, accusing him of creating “drama” during his tour to Manipur when the government was ready to facilitate his visit to Churachandpur and other areas.

The Home Minister said Gandhi refused the government’s offer to visit Churachandpur by helicopter and insisted on making a road journey.

”He resorted to satyagraha on day one and then took a helicopter ride to Churachandpur the next day,” Shah said and urged the opposition not to add fuel to the fire with such incidents.

In a swipe at Gandhi, the minister said, “In this House, there is a leader who has been launched in politics 13 times till now, and he has failed all thirteen times.” Shah said Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the Northeast more than 50 times in nine years and has worked to bring development and ”reduce emotional distances”.

”During the Congress rule, there were numerous incidents of violence in Manipur, yet no Home Minister visited there. I stayed there for three days, and our MoS (Minister of State) Shri Nityanand Rai stayed there continuously for 23 days,” Shah said.

He also said that during the last years, a total of 8000 armed insurgents from the Northeast have surrendered.

The Home Minister said problems started in Manipur with the influx of Kuki refugees from neighbouring Myanmar after the military rulers there started a crackdown against militants in 2021.

The Kuki refugees started settling down in the jungles in the Manipur valley, raising fears of a demographic change in the region, Shah said.

The unrest in the Manipur valley began when rumours began to circulate that the refugee settlements have been declared as villages, Shah said.

He said the Manipur High Court order to fast-track the process for the inclusion of Meiteis in the list of Scheduled Tribes added fuel to the fire.

Shah said Centre has established a peace committee as part of efforts to restore normalcy. ”Over 36,000 security personnel have been stationed between Kukis and Meiteis as a buffer zone. The anger has not subsided yet, but violence has reduced.

”A unified command has been created to coordinate between BSF, CRPF, Assam Rifles and Manipur police deployed there. Six cases of conspiracy have been handed over to the CBI,” Shah said.

Shah also questioned the character of the opposition alliance, saying its true face was seen when it indulged in corruption to stay in power.

He said when the then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee faced a no-trust vote in 1999, he chose to step down instead of indulging in corruption to save his government.

”The character of political parties and alliances is revealed in such times of crises. The UPA’s character is to indulge in corruption to save the government by hook or by crook, while the BJP-led NDA’s character is to stand up to principles,” Shah said, adding that Vajpayee did not resort to any crooked tactics to save the government he lost by one vote.

Shah listed the achievements of the Modi government in different sectors such as the handling of the Covid pandemic, the free food scheme for 80 crore people, and providing homes to the homeless and cooking gas to 9.6 crore women.

He alleged that opposition was against India’s indigenous vaccine.

”I remember Rahul ji and Akhilesh ji campaigned against it naming it the Modi vaccine. They even opposed the lockdown. But the people of India trust Modi Ji even if the opposition does not and as a result 130 crore people took the vaccine and India became free from Covid,” he said.

After he mentioned each achievement of the government, the NDA members chanted in unison: “Aapko bharosa nahi hai, par desh ki janata ko vishwas hai (you – the opposition – do not believe us, but the people trust us)”.

”Post-independence, if the nation has confidence in any leader, it is Narendra Modi who was elected twice with a complete majority. After 30 years, people elected a full majority government,” the minister said.

Shah said he had heard the speeches of opposition leaders and had reached the conclusion that this no-confidence motion was brought only to create confusion.

On the Quit India movement’s anniversary, the prime minister has given the slogan — ‘Corruption Quit India, Dynasty Quit India and Appeasement Quit India’, he said.

”Modi has ushered in a new era of politics since 2014, that of development which will lead to the creation of India of the dreams of our freedom fighters much before 2047,” the home minister said.


Source: Press Trust of India

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.