Manipur The government has extended the ban on internet services till July 10, citing the need to prevent disturbances to public order amid the ongoing violence. At the same time, schools in Manipur reopened for classes 1-8. Violence continues in the state over the demand to include the Meitei community in the Scheduled Tribe list.
Violence started after ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ on 3rd May
Manipur has been burning for two whole months due to the ethnic conflict between the majority Meitei community and the tribal Kuki. Tension escalated after a ‘tribal solidarity march’ was organized in the hill districts of the state on May 3 to protest against the Meitei’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status. The Meiteis constitute about 53 per cent of Manipur’s population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley. The tribals – the Nagas and the Kukis – form 40 per cent of the population and live in the hill districts.
More than 100 people have died in the violence so far
So far more than 100 people have been killed in the violence and hundreds of people have been displaced and are living in relief camps. Despite the heavy presence of paramilitary forces, sporadic violence continues, with houses of political leaders being burned, large-scale looting and arson.
Opposition’s serious allegations on Chief Minister N. Biren Singh
The opposition is demanding the imposition of President’s rule, accusing the government led by Chief Minister N Biren Singh of not doing enough to stop the violence. N. Biren Singh was demanded to step down but he did not do so. Instead, he pointed to a “foreign hand” behind the violence.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah visits Manipur, formation of judicial commission
Union Home Minister Amit Shah also visited Manipur for three days and announced the formation of a judicial commission to probe the caste violence. Efforts were also underway to form a peace committee. But despite these measures, the situation in the state remains the same.
Rahul Gandhi’s visit to Manipur
Rahul Gandhi was one of the first major opposition leaders to visit the strife-torn state. However, the journey was filled with drama, confrontation and political infighting. Rahul Gandhi reached Imphal and proceeded towards Churachandpur, one of the centers of caste violence, when the security forces stopped his convoy due to the fear of grenade attack.
Controversy between Congress and BJP
The incident triggered a dispute between the Congress and the BJP, with the grand old party alleging that the saffron party did not want anyone to enter Manipur. The BJP rejected the allegations and argued that Rahul Gandhi was informed in advance about the law and order situation in Manipur and the environment was not conducive to travel on the road.
Houses of BJP leaders set arson
Union Minister RK Ranjan Singh’s house was set ablaze by a mob in Imphal on 15 June. The minister was not present at his residence at the time of the incident. He later said that there has been a “complete failure” of law and order in the state. Similarly, incidents of burning of houses of BJP MLAs continued.
army camp attack
On July 4, a group of armed miscreants attempted to loot weapons from an India Reserve Battalion (IRB) located in a village in Thoubal district. A clash between the miscreants and security officials resulted in the death of a 27-year-old youth and several incidents in Assam. A Rifles soldier got shot. Heavy firing has been reported in some areas of Manipur in the early hours of Wednesday. According to news agency PTI, the firing started at around 4:30 am in Kangpokpi and Bishnupur districts. There is no information about any casualty.
Internet banned, schools open
Schools that were closed after the violence in the state reopened on Wednesday. However, due to the prevailing situation, the attendance in most of the schools was very low on the first day. Students, parents and guardians welcomed the state government’s decision to resume classes. On Monday, N Biren Singh announced the reopening of schools for classes 1 to 8 from July 5.
Manipur violence: Who is the ‘Meitei community’? Manipur Violance