Manipur Legislators Call on PM to Restore Peace

A tweet posted by a former senior Army officer reads, the state is now stateless' Like Syria

Update: 2023-06-18 01:31 GMT
People in large numbers take part in a torchlight vigil in response to the ongoing violence in Manipur, in Bishnupur, Manipur, (PTI)

Guwahati: Amid reports of multiple clashes between security forces and mob of civilians in Imphal, the ruling party legislators have started rushing to New Delhi to seek intervention of the central government to restore peace in the trouble-torn Manipur.

At least two civilians were injured in Imphal after the Rapid Action Force (RAF) fired rubber bullets and tear gas on a mob of 1,000 that attempted arson in the city’s Palace Compound area on Friday. Security sources said that a mob was also advancing towards the residence of Manipur assembly speaker Satyabrata. However, the security forces managed to avert the attack.

Indicating that civilians have now started targeting the ruling party leaders accusing them of failing to restore peace, sources said that Manipur assembly speaker has left for New Delhi with a delegation of eight legislators to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Earlier, Mr Satyabrata held a meeting with 24 MLAs of Imphal valley in which it was decided that a delegation of ruling party legislators should meet the Prime Minister to intervene as the law and order situation in Manipur is deteriorating.

Security sources also claimed that it managed to disperse a mob that had gathered in an attempt to vandalise state BJP president A. Sharda Devi’s house near Porompat in Imphal, while an Army column dispersed another mob that had gheraoed the BJP office at Singjamei.

Later, joint columns of the Army, Assam Rifles, RAF and the police conducted flag marches in Imphal East district.

In separate incidents, automatic gunfire was reported from Kwakta in Bishnupur district of Manipur and Kangvai in Churachandpur district through the night. Though details were not known.

Retired lieutenant general expresses dismay

Meanwhile, a retired lieutenant general from Manipur, L. Nishikanta Singh,  expressed dismay at the violence in his home state, calling it “stateless” and equating the scale of anarchy to what was witnessed in Syria, Libya and Nigeria.

A tweet posted by a retired senior army officer, elicited messages of support from many veterans, including a former army chief, General V.P. Malik.

All of them urged the government to do more to defuse the crisis. “I’m just an ordinary Indian from Manipur living a retired life. The state is now ‘stateless’,” Mr Singh tweeted.

“Life and property can be destroyed anytime by anyone just like in Libya, Lebanon, Nigeria, Syria etc. It appears Manipur has been left to stew in its own juice. Is anyone listening?”

In another tweet, he said, “A majority people in Manipur are looking over the shoulders for the Central Govt and its various agencies to stop the anarchy that has gripped us. This madness has to stop. How can a large part of our country be stateless?”

Responding to his tweet, Gen Malik on Friday said, “An extraordinarily sad call from a retired Lt Gen from Manipur. Law & order situation in Manipur needs urgent attention at the highest level.”

Malik, who was army chief during the 1999 Kargil war, tagged Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union home minister Amit Shah and defence minister Rajnath Singh.

A retired brigadier, Sandeep Thapar, responded to Singh saying, “This from a Manipuri & veteran soldier. If only Manipur had a few more parliament seats then ppl would have bothered. Nobody is bothered since it has only 2 (LS) & 1 (RS)!”

Air Vice Marshal (retd) Manmohan Bahadur said, “We need to hang our heads in shame. Is anyone listening?”


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