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‘In Manipur the fight is not between Meteis and Kukis, it is Govt against Chin Kuki narco-terrorists’, says COCOMI

COCOMI spokesperson Khuraijam Athouba criticised HM Shah’s approach suggesting that the minister is “evading” the core issue that has caused the Manipur crisis.

On 18th June, given the recent high-level meeting chaired by Home Minister Amit Shah in connection with Manipur violence, the Coordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI) asserted that the real issue in the state is not Meiti-Kuki conflict but the problem of Chin Kuki narco-terrorists.

COCOMI spokesperson Khuraijam Athouba criticised HM Shah’s approach suggesting that the minister is “evading” the core issue that has caused the Manipur crisis. He said that the central government’s attempts to address the conflict through talks between the Meitei and Kuki communities is contextually incorrect. He suggested that the real conflict lies between the Government of Manipur and Chin Kuki narco-terrorist groups which is in concurrence with the Central Government.

HM Shah announced plans to initiate talks between Meitei and Kuki

During a review meeting that was held on 17th June, Home Minister Amit Shah announced plans to initiate talks between Kuki and Meitei communities. The aim is to bridge the ethnic divide between the two communities and restore regional harmony. The announcement came amidst ongoing clashes between the two communities since 3rd May 2023 that have claimed 225 lives and displaced over 50,000 people.

Missing stakeholders

According to a report in Swarajya Magazine, the meeting was held at Raisina Hill’s North Block. Home Minister Amit Shah chaired the meeting. Army Chief General Manoj Pande and Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla were among the key officials present at the meeting. Notably, Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren Singh or any representatives from the ethnic groups involved in the conflict were not called for the meeting which highlighted a significant oversight of the Union government’s approach to resolving the matter.

Deepening distrust

The Union Government is viewing the situation in Manipur primarily as a law and order issue. However, this approach has been criticised for failing to address the deeper ethnic tensions. Furthermore, when the tensions erupted last year, Director General of Police (DGP) P Doungel was removed and Tripura cadre IPS officer, Rajiv Singh replaced him. Singh came to Manipur with no experience in the situation, the Swarajya report adds.

Call for inclusive dialogue

COCOMI and other civil society leaders have called for an inclusive dialogue. They argue that a lasting solution to the problem in Manipur requires the involvement of all stakeholders including ethnic groups, elected representatives, political parties, and civil society organizations. Furthermore, they have called for immediate disarmament of all militant groups and a strengthened, impartial security presence to restore trust and peace.

Way forward

Notably, prominent leaders of both communities have expressed a desire for peace and urged the Union Government to facilitate dialogue among all stakeholders. The involvement of Nagas and Pangals as peace brokers is seen as a crucial step towards rebuilding trust and ending the violence.

The ongoing violence in the state of Manipur underscores the complexity of the situation. It is not limited to the ethnic tensions between Kuki and Meiti communities but includes significant concerns over the raging narco-terrorism in the state. Effective resolution requires a nuanced and inclusive approach, prioritizing the voices and involvement of all affected communities.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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