Manipur: Only dialogue can bring peace, says HAC chairman

Ukhrul: Dinganglung (Dipu) Gangmei, Chairman, Hill Areas Committee (HAC) on Friday said it will be difficult to bring peace in the state if the two warring communities are not willing to sit and sort out the differences together.

“The state has faced communal violence earlier as well and we learned lessons from the past incidents. History has taught us that all issues have to be resolved by sitting across the table and that a dialogue has to happen. Until and unless the two warring communities come to the table and sort out the differences, it will be very difficult to bring peace in the state,” Gangmei told EastMojo during his visit to Ukhrul district.

First and foremost, to bring peace is to have a dialogue. As long as we stay aloof from each other, we won’t be able to bring peace, said the HAC chairman while appealing to all the stakeholders and leaders of the state to come together for an amicable solution.

He also mentioned that in the process of bringing peace, the Center under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah as well as the state government has given full cooperation and support to the leaders who are working tirelessly to end the present imbroglio and restore normalcy.

Gangmei further appealed to all the religious leaders and civil society organisations to come out from their comfort zone and try to bring peace to the state.

“As the HAC chairman, I want to say that the situation has come to Manipur in such a critical juncture where we all should stay together as one and live together and think for our future generation. We don’t have any alternative but to live together as one,” he said.

Gangmei in partnership with the state government has set up a peace reconciliation committee of the legislators. The peace committee is chaired by him and the other members are from various communities such as the Nagas and Meitei Pangals.

“We are working to restore normalcy and bring peace in the state but whoever we have approached, they have apprehensions,” he said.

The HAC chairman emphasized the importance of openness among leaders from both communities in addressing the current ethnic conflict. He stressed that without such openness, it would be challenging for external parties to intervene effectively. He highlighted the futility of violence, stating that it would not bring peace or progress to either side in this communal crisis. Instead, he called for a constitutional and democratic approach, advocating for the resolution of differences through parliamentary political procedures, as there will be no clear victors in this conflict, only a collective loss for both communities.

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While emphasizing the Nagas’ stance amid the current situation, Gangmei, a BJP MLA representing Nungba AC, reiterated that the Nagas are firmly committed to peace and clarified that they are not taking a neutral position.

The ethnic crisis between the Metei and Kukis which first broke out on May 3 has killed at least 176 people and displaced over 60,000 in Manipur.

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