Manipur’s Kuki extremist groups pin hopes on Amit Shah

The Union Home Minister’s visit to the State is a positive sign, two conglomerates under a suspension of operations agreement said

May 29, 2023 05:53 am | Updated 05:28 pm IST - Guwahati

In a statement, the two organisations said they are looking forward to Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s forthcoming visit to Manipur. | file photo

In a statement, the two organisations said they are looking forward to Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s forthcoming visit to Manipur. | file photo | Photo Credit: PTI

The United People’s Front (UPF) and the Kuki National Organisation (KNO), two conglomerates of extremist groups catering to the aspirations of the Kuki-Zo people, have pinned hopes on Union Home Minister Amit Shah for resolving the crisis in Manipur.

At least 115 people, including about 40 extremists, have been killed in the ethnic violence that hit Manipur on May 3. More than 35,000 people have been displaced so far.

Mr Shah is scheduled to visit Manipur for three days from May 29 for holding several rounds of security meeting assessing the situation on the ground.

Terming Mr Shah’s visit to the strife-torn Manipur as a positive sign, the two conglomerates said that the visit has instilled a sense of security among the Kuki-Zo tribe and “we look forward to his actions and directions to end this ongoing ethnic clash between the communities”.

The statement signed by UPF spokesperson Aaron Kipgen and his UPF counterpart Seilen Haokip accused the Manipur government of having been “a silent spectator” through the violence.

The UPF and KNO comprise a total of 25 Kuki-Zo outfits that are under a suspension of operations agreement with the government. The Manipur government withdrew from the agreement with two of them a couple of months ago.

The two conglomerates also appealed to the Kuki-Zo people to maintain peace and wait for the outcome of Mr Shah’s peace mission to the State.

President’s Rule plea

Ahead of Mr Shah’s visit, the New Delhi-based Rights and Risks Analysis Group (RRAG) urged him to consider imposing President’s rule in Manipur in view of the failure to bring the ethnic violence under control.

“The ongoing military operations alone are not enough to douse the flames of ethnic violence. Inter-community dialogues at all levels to establish trust and peace are required but the State government has not been able to initiate such a dialogue as on date,” RRAG’s director, Suhas Chakma said.

“The State government does not seem to have the acceptability to initiate such a process. This makes the case for the imposition of the President’s rule necessary as the Central government is seen as the only neutral and acceptable authority,” he said.

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