Tengnoupal: On the third day of his visit to violence-hit Manipur, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday visited the border town of Moreh and met the leaders of joint civil society organisations of Moreh and Tengnoupal to restore normalcy and peace in the state.
The closed-door meeting, which began at around 11:40 am, went on for more than an hour at the 5th Assam Rifles headquarters on the Key Location Point (KLP) in Moreh.
Reiterating their demand for separate administration, the CSOs submitted a memorandum with an eight-point charter of demands to Amit Shah.
The eight points of demand include separate administration for tribals/Kuki, immediate withdrawal of Manipur Police Commando from Moreh, declare Meitei radical groups Arambai Tenggol and Meitei Leepun as outlawed organisations, stop court hearings related to the present conflict in Imphal, arrange chopper service between Moreh to Aizawl and Guwahati, ensure uninterrupted telecom services in Moreh, arrange transportation for safe supply of essential of goods and extend relief items directly from the Center to Moreh.
“During the meeting, Union Home minister Amit Shah has assured us to withdraw the police commandos from Moreh during his stay in Manipur,” president of the Kuki Students’ Organisation (KSO) in Tengnoupal, Thangboi Lhungdim told EastMojo over the phone.
According to Lhungdim, while urging the community not to feel inferior or consider themselves as minority, the home minister is learnt to have promised the arrangement for chopper service from Moreh to Aizawl and Guwahati from Friday (June 2) onwards for those who require medical attention. Shah also assured the groups of providing 30,000 metric tonne of rice to Moreh and Churachandpur, in addition to the relief provided by Manipur government.
During the meeting, Shah has also urged the public in Moreh and Tengnoupal to maintain peace and to not indulge in any unwanted activities to bring normalcy and peace in Manipur at the earliest.
The joint CSOs who were part of the closed door meeting included the Hill Tribal Council of Moreh, Kuki Chiefs Association of Tengnoupal, KSO Tengnoupal, Moreh Youth Club, Kuki Women for Human Rights, Manipuri Muslim Council Moreh, Nepali Gorkha Samaj Deva Samiti, Moreh and Tamil Sangam Moreh.
Meanwhile, Shah also held a security review meeting in this border town on Wednesday. “Took stock of the security situation with senior officials in Moreh (Manipur),” Shah tweeted.
A home ministry spokesperson said Shah held a security review meeting in the Moreh town, bordering Myanmar.
“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 said in another tweet.
The home minister is on a four-day visit to Manipur and making efforts to restore peace to the state.
On Tuesday, the Meitei and Kuki groups expressed commitment to peace and assured that they would work for restoring normalcy in the trouble-torn state.
Shah had also held a security review meeting with senior officials of the Manipur Police, Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) and Army in Imphal on Tuesday.
He had said peace and prosperity of Manipur are the government’s top priority and instructed them to strictly deal with any activities that disturb peace.
This is the first time the home minister is visiting the northeastern state since the ethnic clashes began in Manipur on May 3.
The state witnessed a sudden spurt in clashes and firing between militants and security forces on Sunday, after a relative lull for over a fortnight.
The death toll from clashes has gone up to 80, officials said.
The ethnic violence first broke out after a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the hill districts 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.
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