The 21-member multi-party delegation of MPs of the Opposition’s Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) alliance that is in Manipur for a two-day visit to assess the situation in the strife-torn state today met Manipur Governor Anusuiya Uikey and shared their experience.
In a memorandum submitted to Governor Uikey, they requested her to restore peace and harmony taking all effective measures, “where justice should be the cornerstone”.
“In order to bring peace and harmony, rehabilitation and resettlement of the affected persons is most urgent. You are also requested to apprise the Union Government of the complete breakdown of law and order in Manipur for the last 89 days so as to enable them to intervene in the precarious situation in Manipur to restore peace and normalcy,” it said. The delegation has visited relief camps at Churachandpur, Moirang, and Imphal, and interacted with the victims/inmates in the relief camps, they said.
The silence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi shows “his brazen indifference to the violence in Manipur,” the memorandum read, citing figures of the destruction in the ethnic conflict that has continued for over three months now.
“The failure of both the Central and state government to protect the lives and properties of the people of the two communities is apparent from the figures of more than 140 deaths, more than 500 injuries, burning of more than 5,000 houses and internal displacement of more than 60,000 people,” it said.
Reports of incessant firing and arson of houses in the last few days establishes, “beyond doubt”, that the state machineries have completely failed to control the situation for the last almost three months, the Opposition’s memorandum to the Governor alleged.
The condition in the relief camps “is pathetic is to say the least,” it said, adding that special care needs to be taken for children on a priority basis. The delegation argued that the continued internet ban for the last three months is aiding the unsubstantiated rumours, which is adding to the existing mistrust.
Rajya Sabha MP Sushmita Dev of the Trinamool Congress, at a press conference, assured the people of the state that the opposition alliance stands with them and will fight till the last day of the Parliament’s monsoon session to “make the Prime Minister accountable” to Manipur.
“Coming from the northeastern states, one has the feeling that people will forget us in the Parliament,” she said, adding that the BJP will accuse the opposition of doing photo-op, disrupting the Parliament, and not wanting to debate the issue.
Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said the Governor herself expressed her sorrow in the meeting.
“She also advised that we all speaking to all the leaders, be it Kuki or Meitei, of all communities and find a path to a solution. She also advised that an all party delegation should come to Manipur and speak to leaders of all communities because the atmosphere of mistrust that has been created among the people has to be addressed by everyone together,” Mr Chowdhury said.
Sushmita Dev had earlier told PTI that among those they met was one of the two women who was paraded naked and sexually assaulted by a mob in Manipur on May 4, and her mother. The latter had one request for them, Ms Dev said, to help her at least see the bodies of her son and husband, who were killed during the incident.
The BJP has slammed the Opposition MPs and pointed to the alleged crimes against women in Rajasthan and West Bengal. “This is just optics. When this I.N.D.I.A. returns from Manipur, I want to ask Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury if he supports the crimes against women in his state, West Bengal. Will these 20 MPs of I.N.D.I.A. (front) give reports on Rajasthan and West Bengal as well,” asked Union Minister Anurag Thakur.
The government of Chief Minister N Biren Singh, who has thus far refused to give in to demands of resignation, has decided to convene an assembly session at the end of this month or early August. At least 180 people have died and thousands have been displaced since the violence broke out on May 3.
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