Cong raises Manipur violence, questions PM's silence

Cong raises Manipur violence, questions PM's silence

IANS Photo

New Delhi, June 12 (IANS) Congress on Monday questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi's silence on the Manipur violence and demanded that an all-party delegation be sent to meet all the stakeholders in the crisis-hit north-eastern state.

Addressing a press conference here at the party headquarters, Congress General secretary Jairam Ramesh, along with Mukul Wasnik and Manipur and Mizoram in-charge Bhakta Charan Das said, "Two weeks since the Union Home Minister went to Manipur on a three-day visit and announced a series of measures, the state continues to burn.

Violence and arson continues in all peripheral areas where the two communities affected by the ethnic violence live. There is cross-firing in multiple districts. The National Highways NH-2 and NH-37 are still blocked with a serious crisis of non-availability of essential commodities."

"Prime Minister Modi's silence is questionable. Why has the Prime Minister not said anything whatsoever about Manipur since the 100th episode of Mann ki Baat? What happened to Manipur ki Baat?" Ramesh said.

He said, "Why has the Union Home Minister Amit Shah's appeal for 15 days of peace on May 30, 2023 completely failed."

People of Manipur are asking if the Prime Minister can visit Odisha's Balasore after the train accident, then why has not visited Manipur yet.

Ramesh, who is also a Rajya Sabha MP said that "as we speak, the Prime Minister is chairing a meeting over the cyclone situation." He should have gone there as it would have helped in managing the crisis better, he added.

Meanwhile, terming the situation in the northeastern state "disturbing", Wasnik said, "Even after 40 days no signs of peace. On May 3, violence erupted and within 24 hours Congress state unit chief and others met the Governor and submitted a memorandum to bring normalcy on May 4. Our in charge Das reached there and took stock of the situation and also assured of all help to the government," he said.

Wasnik further said that on May 17-18, a delegation of Congress including him, Das, Ajoy Kumar went to Manipur and they were informed at the airport that they are not allowed to go further. Then we submitted the report with the Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge.

The Congress leader said that they met President Droupadi Murmu and submitted a memorandum with her.

"We have been raising the issue since then to bring normalcy and peace in Manipur. Now 119 people have died since May 3. Many are missing and over 50,000 people have been shifted to over 349 relief camps," he said.

A number of bodies are still in the mortuary of the government hospital and their bodies are yet to be handed over to their families.

"The internet ban has been extended till June 15. None of the actions taken by the state government or the Union government have inspired confidence in the people of Manipur. This is evidenced by the poor recovery of arms and ammunition despite a stern warning from the Union Home Minister," he said.

Lamenting at the government, Wasnik said while it took Shah 25 days to reach Manipur, Modi is still silent and his silence is a big question mark for the entire nation.

"How much the government is committed is proven as HM took 25 days to reach Manipur and it takes them 40 days to form a peace committee," Wasnik said.

He said that people are not getting basic essential items.

"We still appeal to the government to bring normalcy there and we are ready to give all kinds of cooperation. But the government needs to wake up. Due to blockage of national highways, providing or sending essential items is quite tough. During the Tsunami, the then government sent packaged drinking water from Karnataka for people in Andaman and Nicobar islands," he said.

Ramesh demanded, "The Congress demands that the Prime Minister should break his silence and visit Manipur at the earliest to make all efforts to restore trust in the administration and bring normalcy in the state.

"The Congress demands that a national all-party delegation be allowed to go to Manipur to visit all the affected areas and meet all stakeholders," he added.