Govt working on 3-pronged approach to restore peace in Manipur

Imphal: The Centre is working on a three-pronged approach to bring the warring Meitei and Kuki communities into a narrow common ground for lasting peace in trouble-torn Manipur, sources said on Wednesday.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who is currently visiting Manipur, has given clear instructions that violence must end immediately and peace should be restored in the northeastern state as early as possible.

The government is working on a three-pronged approach to restore peace in Manipur. These include dialogue with the affected people, rehabilitating those who had to leave their homes with enhanced security and control over insurgents, the sources privy to the development said.

The major task before the government is to build confidence between the Meitei and Kuki communities.

Hence, the Centre is making all efforts to reach out to every segment of the society in Manipur and working to bring them into a narrow common ground for lasting peace, the sources added.

There has been a concern that several terrorists have moved away from their designated camps and efforts are on to bring them back, they informed.

Security forces are also asking the members of all communities to hand over weapons if they have any, the sources said.

Some of the affected people belonging to both the Meitei and Kuki communities, who were moved to safer areas, want to return to their homes.

The administration is being instructed to provide them a safe environment so that they can restart their normal life, the sources said.

Shah, whose trip is part of the confidence-building measures in the northeastern state, is speaking to all segments of the society and visiting the violence-hit areas.

The home minister has said the peace and prosperity of Manipur are the government’s top priority and instructed officials to strictly deal with any activity that disturbs peace.

This is for the first time that the home minister is visiting Manipur since ethnic clashes broke out in the northeastern state on May 3.

The state has been witnessing sporadic violence ever since.

The death toll from the clashes has gone up to 80, according to officials.

The violence first broke out after a “Tribal Solidarity March” was organised in the hill districts of the state on May 3 to protest the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.

The violence was preceded by tension over the eviction of Kuki villagers from reserve forest land, which had led to a series of smaller agitations.