GUWAHATI: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday visited Moreh in Tengnoupal and Kangpokpi — two more violence-hit districts in Manipur, and held discussions with various organisations towards restoring normalcy.
The Home Minister — who arrived in the state two days ago to broker peace between warring Meitei and Kuki communities — had held a series of meetings with Meitei organisations in Imphal and Kuki organisations in Churachandpur on Tuesday. He also took stock of the security situation with senior officials.
"Held a meeting with the delegations of Kuki and other communities at Moreh. They expressed strong support for the government’s initiatives to restore normalcy in Manipur," Shah tweeted on Wednesday.
At both Moreh and Kangpokpi, he was accompanied by Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla and Intelligence Bureau Chief Tapan Kumar Deka among others.
Moreh, a trade hub on the India-Myanmar border, has a mixed population of Tamil, Nepali, Bihari, Rajasthani, Bengali and Punjabi, besides Meitei and Kuki communities.
The Kuki organisations reiterated the demand for a "separate administration" for the community and the immediate withdrawal of Manipur police commandos from Moreh.
In a memorandum submitted to him, they further demanded that Meitei radical groups "Arambai Tenggol" and "Meitei Leepun" be declared outlawed organisations after alleging their involvement in the violence.
The other demands included helicopter service from Moreh to Aizawl in Mizoram and Guwahati and a supply of essential commodities.
A Kuki organisation claimed Shah had responded positively to the demands on the withdrawal of police commandos and helicopter service. In both places, he appealed to people to maintain peace.
Meanwhile, a civilian was injured in an exchange of fire between security forces and suspected militants in Imphal East district. Another gunfight was reported from Sugnu in Kakching district on Tuesday night.
At least, 80 people were killed and over 300 others injured in the nearly month-long ethnic violence which broke out on May 3 after a "Tribal Solidarity March" which was organised by a tribal students’ union to oppose the move for the inclusion of Meiteis – the largest community – in the Scheduled Tribes list.
Earlier, the High Court of Manipur had asked the state government to consider the inclusion of the Meiteis in the ST list.
'Don’t block roads, surrender looted arms'
Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Wednesday appealed to people not to block roads or cause hindrance to the movement of security personnel and relief material and return looted weapons.
He said at many locations, people were violating curfew and blocking roads, thereby causing obstacles to the supply of relief material for inmates in relief camps and the movement of security personnel for meeting security threats from illegal armed groups in conflict areas in the foothills and interior locations.
"Such roadblocks are increasing the hardship of our already traumatized people in relief camps, including pregnant women and young children," he said referring to the difficulties being faced in the transportation of health personnel, medicines, food, milk and water meant for the inmates.
"In order to save lives and property of innocent civilians and to assuage hardship faced in relief camps, I appeal to the people of Manipur not to cause roadblocks and hindrances on the free movement of security personnel and relief material," Singh said.
Further, he appealed to those, who had looted arms and ammunition from police battalions and police stations during the violence, to return the same or face actions as per the law.