Ten Political Parties Seek Governor’s Intervention to Restore Peace in Manipur
TEN political parties in Manipur – the Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India, All India Forward Bloc, Revolutionary Socialist Party, Indian National Congress, Janata Dal (United), Aam Aadmi Party, Nationalist Congress Party, All India Trinamool Congress, and Shiv Sena (UBT), have written to the state governor, Anusuiya Uikey urging her to provide adequate relief and rehabilitation to the people affected by the crisis in Manipur.
In a letter written to the governor on October 13, the opposition party leaders requested her to bring peace and tranquility and to save democracy in the crisis-ridden state.
As a consequence of the ethnic violence, which erupted on May 3 and is still continuing, more than 175 innocent lives have been lost, more than 2,000 people are injured, and more than 5,000 houses have been burned down, the letter read. More than 60,000 people are taking shelter in relief camps across the state. Several places of worship, namely, temples, churches, and shrines of traditional deities, have been burnt down, causing serious disruption in worship and prayers by the people belonging to both the Kuki and Meitei communities, the opposition leaders said.
“Because of the failure of the state and central machineries to manage the serious crisis of law and order in the state, local civil societies formed by many sections of the society are trying to fill the gap of missing governance by resorting to various forms of agitations and pronouncements,” they said.
“Of late, we have come across various prohibitory measures by the state government to prevent the citizens from exercising their fundamental rights like freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, constructive criticism of the government, etc,” they added.
A vibrant democracy, as the prime minister of India proudly pronounces that India is the mother of democracy, requires free speech by individual and the press, criticism of the wrongdoing by the government to act as checks and balances on them, and freedom to peacefully assemble and move. Further, both the central and state governments and vigilante groups which are encouraged by them, have also created panic amongst the people and not allowing people to express their fundamental rights and voices are against the constitution and democratic norms. Hence, such restrictions should be lifted immediately. Any unlawful restriction by the government harms democracy envisaged under the Constitution of India, the letter read.
The leaders said that in spite of the fact that the present crisis in Manipur is now more than five months, no meaningful peace talks with the concerned stakeholders are in sight.
“You will agree that both the central and state governments have chosen the path of non-intervention in the crisis of clash between the ethnic groups. Rather, they are trying to sideline the main reasons behind the crisis by taking shelter to the theory of conspiracy by an outside militant organisation with the intent to assault India,” they told the governor. Finding a solution by correctly analysing the causes behind the crisis requires no emphasis. It is high time for the central and state authorities to engage in the peace process to bring normalcy to the state, they urged the governor.
The relief package announced by the state and central governments is inadequate in terms of coverage and quantum. While the families which suffered losses in the death of near and dear ones, injuries, burning of houses and business, etc., are the most deserving, there are many, like drivers of trucks, buses, school vans, taxis, business owners, daily wage earners, etc., who also need relief and rehabilitation. There is a need for a fresh look at the requirement for relief and rehabilitation of people affected by the crisis, they said.
The mortal remains of two students, Kumari Hijam Linthoingambi and Shri Phijam Hemanjit Singh are yet to be recovered and handed over to their families. Similarly, the mortal remains of many killed due to the violence are lying in the mortuaries at RIMS, JNIMS, Churachandpur District Hospital, etc. It is the wish and desire of family members of the deceased to perform the last rites according to their faith. They urged the governor to arrange for the handing over of mortal remains at the earliest.
The ten political parties assured their full support to the efforts of the government in resolving the complex issues in the state.
Kshetrimayum Santa, state secretary, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Laishram Sotinkumar Singh, ex-secretary, Manipur state council, Communist Party of India, K Meghachandra Singh, president of Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee, (Indian National Congress), Kh Loken Singh, state vice president, Janata Dal (United), Thokchom Inaocha Singh, convenor of All India Trinamool Congress, Manipur Pradesh, Thingnam Bishwanath Singh, activity coordinator of state Aam Aadmi Party, Kh Gyaneswar Singh, state secretary, All India Forward Bloc, Soram Iboyaima Singh, state president of Nationalist Congress Party, T Debananda Singh, state president, Shiv Sena (UBT), and K Manoranjan Singh, state secretary of Revolutionary Socialist Party signed the letter.
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