Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh called Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga on Sunday, asking him to take measures to ensure the security of the Meitei community in the neighbouring State. Mizoram has a sizeable population of both Meiteis and Kukis settled there, and 10,000 people from the Kuki community who have been displaced due to the violence in Manipur have found refuge in Mizoram as well.
The call to ensure the security of Meiteis in Mizoram came as dozens of BJP legislators from the Meitei community in Manipur arrived in the national capital over the last couple of days to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Manipur Chief Minister is also expected to come to Delhi this week.
Protesting PM’s silence
On Sunday, scores of people in Imphal West protested Mr. Modi’s monthly radio show Mann ki Baat and questioned his silence on the Manipur situation. The protestors broke radio transistors in protest and shouted, “No Mann ki Baat, yes to Manipur ki Baat.”
In a tweet, the Mizoram CM said that he spoke to his counterpart in Manipur over the phone at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday regarding the ongoing violence in Manipur. Mr. Zoramthanga said that Mr. Singh had asked for his help in resolving the issue, with a hope that henceforth there would be a “peaceful co-existence.”
‘Nothing to fear’
“Furthermore, the request is to take means and measures for the Mizoram Meitei to settle peacefully,” he said. “I also apprised the Chief Minister of Manipur that we, the people of Mizoram are empathetic towards the Meitei and that the government and the NGOs have taken measures for peace and security. Therefore, for the Meitei who are residing in Mizoram, they have nothing to fear as long as they are in Mizoram. We shall go on to promote safety and security for them,” he emphasised.
His tweet also said that the Mizoram government “bemoans the ongoing violence” and has taken certain steps and measures to abate it. “I further stated that we are suppportive of the steps taken by the Govt. Of Manipur and the Central Govt,” he added.
More than 50,000 people have been displaced in the ethnic violence between the Kuki and Meitei communities that erupted in Manipur on May 3. Of these, about 10,000 displaced Kukis have fled to Mizoram. The Chin-Kuki-Zo communities, with shared ethnic ties, are settled across Mizoram and the hill areas of Manipur, as well as across the border in Bangladesh and Myanmar. A sizeable number of Meitei also live in Mizoram.
Multiple incidents of attempted violence and mob build-up were reported across Imphal on June 16. Mobs had gathered in an attempt to vandalise State BJP president A. Sharda Devi’s house near Porompat in Imphal. At least two civilians were injured after the Rapid Action Force fired rubber bullets and tear gas on a mob of about 1,000 people that attempted arson in the city’s Palace Compound area.