New Delhi, June 02, 2023 (PPI-OT): Amid reports of sporadic violence in Indian state of Manipur as Home Minister Amit Shah visited the state around 25 days after brutal ethnic violence broke out – Kuki MLAs have demanded the removal of Manipur chief minister N. Biren Singh.
These MLAs, notably, belong to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, with even state BJP secretary Paokam Haokip backing this suggestion, according to the Indian media. The report notes how Biren had earlier been critical of former Congress CM Okram Ibobi Singh’s handling of tribal protests in 2015, in which nine people died, and left the party to join BJP.
Now, in addition to BJP MLA Raghumani Singh having resigned as chairman of the Manipur Renewable Energy Development Agency, P. Brojen Singh as chairman of the Manipur Development Society, Karam Shyam as chairman of Manipur Tourism Corporation and Thikchom Radheshyam as the CM’s advisor, Biren has been battling a trust deficit.
Meanwhile, key tribal leaders, including members of the Manipur government’s Scheduled Tribe commission, have called for a Supreme Court-monitored Special Investigations Team probe into what they have called “unrelented ethnic cleansing” of Kuki, Zomi, Mizo and Hmar tribes. Members of the Manipur Tribal Forum Delhi, noted in a press conference at the national capital a day ago that more than 115 tribal villages were burnt, 68 tribal people were dead and 50 or more still unaccounted for.
“Despite [home minister Amit] Shah’s presence…Meitei commandos have burnt down 585 houses in tribal villages in Kangpokpi on May 29-30,” the forum said.
Until the morning of Wednesday, May 31, several persons were injured in firing by unidentified persons near Tangjeng village along the Bishnupur-Churachandpur districts of Manipur, it has also been reported.
The forum has also called for a probe into the role of CM Biren and BJP Rajya Sabha MP Leishemba Sanajaoba.
Meitei “extremists,” the Forum said, were allowed to steal weapons from state security forces.
Meanwhile, reports say that Manipur DGP P. Doungel has been replaced by IPS Rajiv Singh who was IG, CRPF, and sent to Manipur on inter-cadre deputation as recently as May 29.
Meanwhile, the Ukhrul Times has reported that that United Naga Council has written to the Union home ministry, stressing that “Nagas will not accept any disintegration of Naga areas in attempting to address any appeal or demand by any community”. The memorandum was made available to the Newmai News Network, and said that the Council “submits this representation in the matter of an enduring, inclusive and honorable Indo-Naga political settlement based on Framework Agreement of August 3, 2015”.
Tribal groups have repeatedly demanded a separate administration in the aftermath of the violence.
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