Hope For Peace In Manipur - Eastern Mirror
Thursday, July 11, 2024

Hope for Peace in Manipur

By The Editorial Team Updated: Jun 20, 2024 11:34 pm

With no peace in sight, even after more than a year since the ethnic conflict between the Kuki-Zo and Meitei communities erupted in Manipur, as fresh violence keeps surfacing, the government of India seems to have finally realised the complexity of the unrest and the need to resolve it without delay, though not before more than 200 people were killed and thousands of families were rendered homeless. The recent violence in Jiribam district and the attack on Manipur Chief Minister’s advance convoy are clear indications that the conflict is far from over, though some might like to believe that the state is limping to normalcy. So, the high-level meeting convened by Union Home Minister Amit Shah earlier this week to review the security situation in the violence-torn state was a welcome and much-needed move. A statement from the Ministry of Home Affairs said that Shah stressed the strategic deployment of the central forces, even increasing the number if required, in order to restore peace and tranquillity in the state. He also reviewed the situation in relief camps to ensure that the displaced people are not deprived of basic amenities like food and medicine, besides directing the authorities to take strict action against the perpetrators of violence, as per law. Will the Centre succeed in restoring peace in the state?

Having allowed armed groups from both warring communities, who call themselves “volunteers,” to roam around in the open with sophisticated weapons for months in the name of guarding “their territories,” the road to normalcy will be long and winding. The fact is that thousands of arms and ammunition were looted from state police armouries in the wake of the May 3 violence last year. Appeals to surrender these weapons have fallen on deaf ears and operations to recover them were met with limited success. With lots of sophisticated weapons still in the hands of unlawful elements, the law-and-order situation in the state is “volatile”. The presence of multiple underground groups has made the situation even more complicated. Apart from the security aspect, the conflict has completely segregated the two communities, including government employees. It won’t be easy to solve the ongoing issue but it is not unachievable if there is political will. The central and state governments should win the trust of the people, disarm the militants and “volunteers” and bring the warring communities to negotiating table in order to restore peace. Lawmakers and civil society organisation leaders should stop hate-mongering. RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat has rightly pointed out the need to get over election rhetoric and focus on problems facing the nation and that the situation in Manipur must be considered with priority.

By The Editorial Team Updated: Jun 20, 2024 11:34:17 pm
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