Unfortunate that govt is stopping me, Manipur needs healing: Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi, June 29 (IANS) Hours after his convoy was stopped in Manipur, former Congress President Rahul Gandhi dubbed the incident as "unfortunate", saying that he came to listen to the people of the northeastern state, which needs healing and restoration of peace.

In a tweet, Rahul Gandhi said, "I came to listen to all my brothers and sisters of Manipur. People of all communities are being very welcoming and loving. It’s very unfortunate that the government is stopping me. Manipur needs healing. Peace has to be our only priority."

He also attached a video of his convoy being stopped enroute Churachandpur, in which police could be seen firing tear gas shells to disperse the crowd. 

Rahul Gandhi reached Manipur on a two-day visit on Thursday morning and was scheduled to meet the affected families taking refuge in the relief camps in the ethnic violence-hit state. 

His convoy was stopped in Bishnupur. 

The Congress has been critical of the government for failing to control the situation in Manipur, where violence erupted on May 3. The Congress has also demanded immediate removal of Chief Minister N. Biren Singh for failing to control the situation, besides questioning the silence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue. 

Congress General Secretary (Organisation), K.C. Venugopal, who accompanied Rahul Gandhi, tweeted: "After initially allowing us, our convoy led by Rahul Gandhi ji was stalled near Bishnupur on the orders of the Manipur Chief Minister. Such moves are unfortunate and have no place in a democracy. 

"At a time when the victims of Manipur are suffering, Rahul ji is in Manipur to deliver a message of peace and harmony. Manipur today needs a healing touch, not further acrimony. It is our constitutional right to travel across Manipur, interact with the people who have suffered so much, and build bridges between communities."