Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga on July 4 took a dig at the BJP while expressing his deep concern over the ethnic violence in Manipur since May 3 and seeking to know when it would stop.
He aired his opinion in a statement issued hours after the house of Seilen Haokip, the spokesperson of the Kuki National Organisation (KNO), was burnt down at Songpi in Manipur’s Churachandpur district on Monday night by people reportedly opposed to the lifting of a National Highway blockade by the Kuki extremist groups.
The KNO is one of two conglomerations of Kuki extremist groups that inked a suspension of operations deal with the government. The other is the United People’s Front.
“At this very moment, 3:30 a.m., July the 4th, 2023, nothing seems to have changed. We are counting, and today is the 62nd day,” Mr. Zoramthanga, also the president of the Mizo National Front said.
“While we hope with much goodwill, anticipation, and hope (that) things would turn for the better, situations seem to have worsened. When will it STOP?” he asked, adding that he does not wish “to see pictures and video clips of churches being burnt, brutal killings and violence of all nature, regardless of gender and age” anymore.
“I would like to call for immediate restoration of peace and normalcy. It is incumbent and imperative upon those responsible and law-abiding citizens or entities of India to look for immediate ways for peace restoration,” Mr. Zoramthanga said, apparently reminding the BJP of its slogan of “development for all, with all”.
“Development with a human touch and Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas applies to my Zo ethnic tribes in Manipur too!” the Chief Minister.
Mr. Zoramthanga is a Mizo, Mizoram’s dominant community ethnically related to the Kukis of Manipur and the Chins of Myanmar.
He also sounded the Centre for ignoring the Mizoram government’s plea for funds to sustain people from Manipur, Myanmar, and Bangladesh who have taken refuge in his poll-bound State.
“The brutal violence in Manipur has resulted in internally displaced people to the tune of 12,000 in Mizoram. Refugees and/or IDPs from Manipur, Myanmar, and Bangladesh have risen to over 50,000. I wish and pray that the central government, on humanitarian grounds, lends us an immediate helping hand,” Mr. Zoramthanga said.