Guwahati: “We want peace, we want everyone to settle at their respective places where they were living before the incidents, irrespective of any community. Let us give peace a chance,” three-time Member of the Manipur Legislative Assembly, Rajkumar Imo Singh made a public appeal on Sunday.

Pointing out that there is mistrust amongst people at present, he urged the government to conduct an independent inquiry leading to the incident on May 3. “There should be an enquiry from the top level appointed by the government for a fact finding mission for the Incidents,” he took to Twitter saying. 

The BJP legislator said that every involved person/organisation should be severely punished and banned as per law as the state witnessed many losses of lives and property damage.

While the demand for a separate administration and state surfaced amid tension, Singh said that he stands for a “United Manipur” and that the “Territorial Integrity of the State” should be protected at any cost. He said that there can be no compromise on such demands from any pressure groups or representatives or outside forces. “Those who seek new pastures and demands may do so in another place, another State, another country,” he said.

Justifying the government’s decision to withdraw the Suspension of Operations (SoO), Singh said that the move against Insurgent Groups was necessitated to bring peace in the State. 

“The groups need to be brought back to their designated camps and have their firearms taken cared of. There is a threat to the Nation’s internal security with the apprehension of entry of illegal foreign armed groups crossing Indian border through Manipur. This is needed to be taken cared on top priority, which will otherwise lead to internal disturbances,” Singh said.

He said that insurgent groups violated the Rules by openly flaunting and shooting firearms at the general public and Security Forces. He urged the central government to bring all cadres back to their designated camps immediately and have their firearms taken care of. 

Singh also urged the Central Government to oversee the illegal armed foreign groups crossing the Indian border into Manipur immediately. “It is a threat to the nation’s internal security which is at stake with the entering of these armed groups who are collaborating and fighting against our security forces,” Singh said.

He goes on to say that the innocent civilians are suffering the most and it is not the rebel groups/organisations/pressure groups who suffer. He urged all to move towards a peaceful direction, and build a conducive environment for all indigenous people to live peacefully in the state as was practiced for thousands of years.

As thousands were displaced following the incidents, he said that the first priority for the government was to ensure safety of the people. While most stranded people are now brought to safety temporarily, he said that the focus has shifted to bring back peace and normalcy in the State.

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“Slowly but surely, one will be able to see the real pictures soon. Recently there have been new political developments with a new set of demands. With the State Government led by CM meeting the Home Minister in Delhi, and subsequently the announcement that the territorial integrity of the State will be protected and there will be no alteration at any cost, the fear amongst the people of the State would be a lot calmer,” Singh said. 

However, many questions, he observed, need answers. He then asked if the incidents that occurred were made to seek the new demand. “Is this their actual and real demand, and did they let the incidents happen on 3rd May under the pretext of the earlier one to ask for this new demand? Are all of the signatories doing it willingly or being forced to do so by their pressure groups? Who is responsible for the loss of so many lives in the State? Were all these pre-planned to show it as a sacrifice to seek this new demand,” Singh questioned.

He observed that more security forces need to be deployed in the state, particularly in the foothills to ensure peace in the areas, especially in Churachandpur, Tengoupal and Kangpokpi Districts to ensure the resettlement of people. Likewise, he said that stranded valley residents should also be allowed to resettle.

“Manipur is a State with more than 2000 years of history with its own unique cultural identity, where various communities have lived together peacefully. Manipur will continue to live with all such indigenous people united with its own sets of rich cultural identity,” he said. 

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Furthermore, Singh urged the “indigenous and general people belonging to all communities” to return and live at their respective places across the State and help in bridging the divide caused by the recent incidents. “Let us give peace a chance and not get pressured from outside forces and insurgent groups,” he added.

Also Read | Manipur: Assam Rifles, Army working hard to bring peace

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