Despite central forces' presence, law & order totally failed in Manipur: Minister

Despite central forces' presence, law & order totally failed in Manipur: Minister

IANS Photo

Imphal, June 16 (IANS) Union Minister of State for External Affairs Rajkumar Ranjan Singh, whose house in Imphal was vandalised and set on fire by a mob, said on Friday that despite the presence of a huge number of central forces, the law and order situation in Manipur has totally failed.

Singh, who is currently in Kerala to attend a political programme, said: "I have entirely failed to understand why the people are targeting me and attacked my house for the second time. I am doing my best and negotiating with the Central government to normalise the situation in Manipur.

"I am shocked over this incident. The law and order situation in Manipur has totally failed. The existing state government could not maintain the law and order situation despite the Centre providing a large number of central forces. I do not know why the state mechanism has failed. If me or my family members were at the residence at the time of attack, it would be a serious danger to our lives. Union Home Minister Amit Shah called me after the incident."

He said that that mob on Thursday night hurled petrol bombs and even the fire fighters could not enter the house in time due to the obstacle of the attackers.

The academician-turned-politician, who was elected to the Lok Sabha from the Inner Manipur parliamentary seat on a BJP ticket, had earlier said that the demand for a separate state for the tribals was made under tremendous pressure from various quarters.

In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Singh had requested to do away with the mechanical division in Manipur and suggested that the entire state should belong to the people as a whole, without any distinction between the hill inhabitants and the valley people, in the pattern of Himachal Pradesh.

If required, Article 371C, which deals with special provisions for the hill areas of Manipur, may be amended, he added in the letter.

Singh told the Prime Minister that in complete dismay and frustration, Kuki leaders, including their 10 MLAs, have demanded a separate political administration (equivalent to a separate state) for the tribals.

Singh and the Naga People's Front (NPF) MP Lorho S. Pfoze had earlier urged the people to maintain peace and ethnic harmony and keep their faith and trust in the government to control the situation.

Pfoze, a physician-turned-politician, was elected from Outer Manipur seat.

Defying curfew, a mob of 200 men and women attacked the Central Minister's residence on Thursday night, according to the police.

Though a portion of the Minister's house was burnt, security guards and fire fighters managed to control the blaze from spreading further.

Singh's house was earlier targeted on May 25 when thousands of people attempted to assemble in front of the residence, but security forces prevented them from doing so.

Police said the mob which was demanding an early solution to the ethnic conflict, accused all the ministers and MLAs that they were not doing enough to end the crisis.