Manipur needs peace, relief camps have shortages of essentials: Rahul Gandhi

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi meeting Manipur Governor Anusuiya Uikey about violence in Manipur onn June 30, 2023. IANS Photo

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi meeting Manipur Governor Anusuiya Uikey about violence in Manipur onn June 30, 2023. IANS Photo

Imphal, June 30 (IANS) Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday said that Manipur needs peace and there is scarcity of medicines and other essentials in the relief camps.

The government must take immediate actions to overcome these crisis, he said.

The Congress leader who is on a two day visit to violence hit Manipur, met the Governor Anusuiya Uikey at the Raj Bhavan on Friday. He was accompanied by Congress General Secretary K.C. Venugopal and AICC in-charge of several northeastern states Ajoy Kumar.

After meeting the Governor, Rahul Gandhi said that he and his party would do whatever possible to restore peace and normalcy in the state.

“I want peace to be restored first. I visited some relief camps and met the affected people. There are shortages of medicines and other essentials in these relief camps, the government should take steps,” Gandhi told the media in front of the Raj Bhavan.

Saying that he met people of different communities, the former Congress President said that violence would not yield any result.

“I appealed to all people, all communities and leaders to restore peace and normalcy in Manipur,” he said. 

He later tweeted: “I share the pain of the people of Manipur. It is a horrible tragedy. It is extremely sad and painful for all the people of Manipur and the people of India as well. I went to the camps and met people from all communities. One of the things I would say to the government is that the basic amenities at the camps need to be improved. Food needs to be improved. Medicines need to be supplied. Such complaints have come from the camps.”

“I would appeal to everybody in Manipur that we need peace. My strong appeal to everyone is that violence will not get anything for anybody. Peace is the way forward and everybody should now talk about peace and start moving towards it.

I am here and will help in any way I can to bring peace to this state. I love all the people of Manipur, and once again, this is a terrible tragedy, and we need to bring peace here.”

A day after he was stopped by a huge Manipur Police contingent, Congress leader earlier on Friday visited relief camps in Moirang in Bishnupur district, where he met people affected by the ethnic violence.

Manipur state Congress President Keisham Meghachandra Singh said that Rahul went to Moirang by helicopter and after returning to Imphal, he will meet 10 like-minded party leaders and members of civil society organisations.

He will also hold talks with leaders of the United Naga Council (UNC), influential women bodies, prominent citizens and intellectuals.

Upon his arrival on Thursday, the senior Congress leader visited relief camps in Churachandpur and Imphal West District, where displaced people have taken shelter in the wake of the violence which has killed 120 people, injured over 400 others and also led to the damage of a massive number of properties, houses, vehicles and important installations since it erupted on May 3.

“In both districts, Rahul Gandhi patiently listened to the hardship of the distressed people,” Singh told the media, adding that the Congress leader had dinner at the relief camp in Imphal.

But when Rahul Gandhi left for Bishnupur by road on Thursday, his convoy was stopped some 20 km from Imphal by a huge contingent of police led by Bishnupur SP Heisnam Balram Singh, citing law and order issues.

Tear gas shells were fired by police in front of the Bishnupur police station to disperse the women-led demonstrators, who shouted slogans to allow Rahul Gandhi to visit the violence-affected people.

Rahul Gandhi tweeted: “I came to listen to all my brothers and sisters of Manipur. People of all communities are very welcoming and loving. It’s very unfortunate that the government is stopping me. Manipur needs healing. Peace has to be our only priority.”

All top Congress leaders including Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge condemned the Manipur Police action.

Congress leaders alleged that Manipur Police, under the instructions of Chief Minister N. Biren Singh stopped Rahul Gandhi from visiting Bishnupur district.