Myanmar instability, weapons with Manipur warring groups have grave implications for State: Kalita

Lieutenant General Rana Pratap Kalita was speaking after a wreath-laying ceremony at the Vijay Smarak in the Eastern Command headquarters Fort William on the occasion of Vijay Diwas

Updated - December 16, 2023 05:19 pm IST

Published - December 16, 2023 04:54 pm IST - Kolkata

Eastern Army Commander Lieutenant General Rana Pratap Kalita. Photo: X/@easterncomd

Eastern Army Commander Lieutenant General Rana Pratap Kalita. Photo: X/@easterncomd

Eastern Army Commander Lieutenant General Rana Pratap Kalita on December 16 said that the availability of a large number of firearms with warring groups in Manipur coupled with instability in neighbouring Myanmar has grave implications for the situation in the strife-torn northeastern State.

He said the Army and the Assam Rifles, in concert with the State police and the CAPF deployed, have been able to control the violence to a large extent in Manipur, where the Meitei and the Kuki communities are at loggerheads with each other.

Also Read: Manipur unrest | The embers of Meitei-Kuki conflict still glow

"The availability of a large number of weapons with both communities, as also the instability in Myanmar across the border, has certain implications for the situation in Manipur," General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Army Command, Lt. General Kalita said.

He was speaking to reporters after a wreath-laying ceremony at the Vijay Smarak in the Eastern Command headquarters Fort William in Kolkata on the occasion of Vijay Diwas on Dec. 16.

Stating that though there are chances of some sporadic incidents of violence taking place in the strife-torn State, he said the aim of the Army and Assam Rifles have been to control such occurrences to a large extent.

"While peace and reconciliation process is being carried out by the Central and the State Governments, our focus has been on reducing the violence parameter," he said.

Mr. Kalita, however, said it is difficult to give a time limit in resolving the problem which has got a lot of historic and legacy issues.

The Eastern Army commander said that the Army and the Assam Rifles, who were called in following clashes that broke out in Manipur between the Kukis and the Meiteis on May 3 this year, were within a short time able to establish some semblance of law and order and the situation was brought under control.

"Thereafter there have been certain sporadic incidents which led to escalations at times, but there is a lot of dialogue going on at different levels and we are also launching proactive operations in concert with the State police and the CAPF deployed there," he said.

Greeting the over 70-member Bangladeshi delegation, including 30 Mukti Joddhas, serving Bangladesh Army officers and family members, on the occasion, Mr. Kalita said the epic victory of India in the 1971 war against Pakistan not only led to the birth of a new nation but also changed the geopolitics of South Asia.

"Eastern Command was at the forefront of the 1971 war, hence Vijay Diwas occupies a special place of pride in the history of the command," he said.

The highest degree of dedication and commitment towards the accomplishment of assigned tasks has kept the Eastern Command fully geared to any challenges, Mr. Kalita added.

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