Congress meets President seeks inquiry into Manipur strife

The Congress delegates sought an inquiry into the recent violence that shook Manipur, which led to the repudiation of a peace pact and substantial loss of life

May 30, 2023 02:34 pm | Updated 10:31 pm IST - New Delhi

Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge along with a delegation of party leaders calls on President Droupadi Murmu, at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on May 30, 2023

Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge along with a delegation of party leaders calls on President Droupadi Murmu, at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on May 30, 2023 | Photo Credit: ANI

Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge on Tuesday led an eight member delegation to meet President Droupadi Murmu and sought her intervention to restore peace in violence-hit Manipur.

In a memorandum submitted to the President, the principal Opposition party called for the constitution of a high-level inquiry commission headed by a serving or retired Supreme Court judge to probe the violence and put forward a 12-point charter of demands to help restore normlacy in the State.

The delegation included former Chief Minister Ibobi Singh, Congress leader Mukul Wasnik, former Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam and Pradesh Congress Committee president Keisham Meghachandra Singh, besides AICC in-charge for Manipur Bhakt Charan Das.

Also read | Central, State Govt. announce compensation package for those killed in Manipur clashes

“Though there were several lapses in the management of the situation in the early stages of the violence, leading to the present impasse. Now is not the time to point fingers, but to act. If the suggestions above are implemented in earnest, peace can perhaps be restored once again. The Congress party is a responsible political party and is ever ready to lend support to any initiative to restore peace, normalcy and harmony in the state of Manipur,” read the memorandum.

“A high-level inquiry commission should be constituted headed by a serving or retired Supreme Court judge,” it said.

They urged the President to call on the central government to immediately take all possible measures to control and confine all militant groups (including those under Suspension of Operations) and ensure that all armed civilian groups be stopped forthwith by taking appropriate action.

The state government must immediately take over the management and maintenance of all relief camps and provide proper health and sanitation facilities for all, the Congress said in its memorandum.

The trust between communities should be restored through reconciliation and dialogue and the letter and spirit of the existing Constitutional provisions relating to the state of Manipur must be protected, it added.

“It is with a deep sense of loss and hurt that we humbly submitted a memorandum to the President of India, for her kind intervention so that the extraordinary situation confronting Manipur can be redressed and normalcy can be brought in urgently,” Mr. Kharge said on Twitter after the meeting.

Later, addressing a press conference, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said the current situation in Manipur is a result of BJP’s divisive politics. “It is the intelligence failure, the administrative failure and the political failure in Manipur,” he said.

“This is the second time in the last 22 years. Manipur burned in June of 2001 when Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji was the Prime Minister, Manipur is burning in 2023 when Mr. Narendra Modi is the prime minister. There is something in the politics and ideology of the BJP, there is something in the way the BJP manages the diversity of Manipur and other states that is not conducive to social harmony in the long run,” Mr. Ramesh added.

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