Rahul Gandhi visits and assures help to victims of Manipur violence

The Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum said the Congress leader had very little time for the affected people in Churachandpur due to the “tussle” with local authorities in Bishnupur en route

June 29, 2023 11:25 pm | Updated June 30, 2023 07:31 am IST - GUWAHATI

Rahul Gandhi arrived at Imphal on June 29, 2023 for a two-day visit to violence-hit Manipur. Photo: Twitter/@INCIndia

Rahul Gandhi arrived at Imphal on June 29, 2023 for a two-day visit to violence-hit Manipur. Photo: Twitter/@INCIndia

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday assured all help to the victims of Manipur’s ongoing ethnic violence.

He visited two camps in Churachandpur, one of the worst-hit districts dominated by the Kuki-Zomi tribes, caught in a conflict with the majority Meitei people of the Imphal Valley since May 3.

“I came to Manipur to listen to and understand what has happened and to try and bring back peace in Manipur,” he said after visiting two relief camps housing Kuki people displaced from the Imphal Valley.

“You are going through a very difficult time. My full affection and my heart and ears are with you and all the people of Manipur. If you have any issues at the camp, please let me know. You have given me a memorandum. But if you have any other issues, we will send our people here,” Mr. Gandhi said.

The Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF), an apex body of the Kuki-Zomi tribes, submitted the memorandum to Mr. Gandhi, seeking his help for the total separation of the tribal people from Manipur. The BJP-led Manipur government has rejected the demand for a separate administration for the Kuki-Zomi people.

The ITLF also accused the Nongthombam Biren Singh government and the Meitei people of colluding to stop Mr. Gandhi from entering Churanchandpur by road on the “pretext” of violence.

“Due to the tussle in Bishnupur (en route to Churachandpur), Rahul Gandhi had very little time left for the civil society organisations and the family of the victims. He arrived by a chopper at 4.10 p.m. but had to leave soon as the State government allowed him time till 5 p.m.,” an ITLF spokesperson said.

“His speech, thus, was very short,” the spokesperson said.

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