Alleging that Manipur has been turned into a battlefield where violence against women and children has been “weaponised”, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to dismiss the State’s “incompetent” Chief Minister N. Biren Singh.
Mr. Kharge’s remarks, posted on social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter), come a day after the Manipur government ordered a fresh ban on mobile internet and the closure of schools in the State, after pictures of the bodies of two students went viral on social media. The two students, hailing from the Meitei community, were reported missing in July. Their bodies have not yet been recovered.
“The horrific images of students being targeted in this violence has once again shocked the entire nation,” Mr. Kharge said. “It is now apparent that violence against women and children was weaponised in this strife. The beautiful state of Manipur has been turned into a battlefield, all because of the BJP!” he added.
The Congress chief said that sacking the CM was a necessary first step to control further turmoil. He also questioned why Mr. Modi has not yet found time to visit the State, which has been suffering from a spate of ethnic violence for the last 147 days.
‘PM has abandoned Manipur’
The fresh video of the students made “a complete mockery of claims of normalcy”, Congress communications chief Jairam Ramesh said. “But nothing moves or fazes the PM as far as Manipur is concerned. He has simply abandoned the people there,” he added.
Addressing a press conference at Congress headquarters, Lok Sabha member Gaurav Gogoi, who was part of the Opposition delegation to the State, urged the Prime Minister to “take up the responsibility of bringing normalcy to the State as the Home Minister is not up to the task”.
“Is the Prime Minister only meant to campaign or inaugurate trains?” Mr. Gogoi asked, adding that the Congress party demanded the strictest punishment for those who were involved in the kidnapping and killing of the two students.
The Congress MP also criticised the police lathicharge and their use of tear gas shells against the protesting students in the Imphal Valley. “The Congress stands with the students, parents, teachers and every section of the society,” he said.