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“The newspaper has murdered all ethical journalism and standards”: Manipur govt slams The Hindu over editorial on ethnic conflict in the state

The Manipur government also refuted the allegations of being "biased" against a particular ethnic group terming the accusation "far from the truth and quite misleading."

Biren Singh-led Manipur government has criticized the editorial published in a newspaper, saying that it lacks a “clear understanding” of deeper issues in the state and accused it of “defaming” the measures taken by Bharatiya Janata Party at the centre and state.

It said that the newspaper “used to be a respected media firm” but now it has “murdered all ethical journalism and standards.”

This comes in response to the editorial, ‘Lame excuses: On Manipur and the ethnic conflict’ published on May 15.

“The editorial, ‘Lame excuses: On Manipur and the ethnic conflict’ attempts to defame the measures undertaken by the Central and State government to resolve the unrest in Manipur by terming them as “over-simplification and biased” view of the conflict,” the editorial read.

“Since the newspaper does not have any clear understanding of the deeper issues in Manipur, it has cited Hon’ble Chief Minister, N Biren Singh’s statement that 5,457 illegal immigrants were found in Manipur’s Kamjong district as a claim to back up its allegations. However, the fresh arrival of illegal immigrants into Manipur, following the Military coup in Myanmar are just a tip of the iceberg,” it added.

It said that even before the state government started the drive to identify and collect the biometric data of the immigrants, “as many as 996 new villages had already mushroomed” in Manipur as a result of “years of illegal immigration which went unchecked and undetected.”

The release said that the measures started in February this year, which was objected to by the “illegal immigrants” adding that it was one of the reasons for the “violence that broke out” in Manipur.

The Manipur government also refuted the allegations of being “biased” against a particular ethnic group terming the accusation “far from the truth and quite misleading.”

“The Manipur state government is not biased against any ethnic community and identification of illegal immigrants is not limited to only one community. The state has a firm stand on illegal migration, and it has been monitoring the issue as per the directives and instructions of the Central government,” it added.

It also rebutted the allegations that “refugees in Manipur are stigmatised” and that the state’s policies are “contrary to the approach given by Mizoram.”

“These are baseless allegations as the immigrants are being provided with basic needs like foodgrains, water supply, power supply, even roofings and other essential commodities in their respective camps such as the ones located in Kamjong.

The state government further said that the ‘illegal immigrants’ have outnumbered the local populace of the places where they are sheltered, which has been a “continuous threat to the state’s heterogeneous population and demography” due to the constant upsurge in the number of illegal migrants.

The release also highlighted the drug seizures made in the state since the Biren Singh government came to power.

It said around 16,161 acres of poppy cultivation “in the Kuki Zo dominated areas” in the districts of Churachandpur and Kangpokpi were destroyed under the War on Drugs campaign of the government. It added that

“Drugs amounting to Rs. 7887,676,32,330 have been seized and a total of 2351 cases have been registered while as many as 2943 persons have been arrested since 2017,” the release stated.

“The newspaper has also ignored to look into the sudden spike in seizure of the staggering amounts of drugs trafficked from Myanmar in Mizoram since 2023, following the unrest in Manipur. It once used to be a respected media firm but now it has murdered all ethical journalism and standards,” it added.

(This news report is published from a syndicated feed. Except for the headline, the content has not been written or edited by OpIndia staff)

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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