New Delhi, India: The ongoing monsoon session of the Parliament witnessed heated discussions on a no-confidence motion during its second day, wherein Home Minister Amit Shah shed light on the situation in Manipur. He revealed that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had visited Manipur, expressing his desire to visit Churachandpur. The army suggested using a helicopter for the trip, but Gandhi declined, resulting in a three-hour online discussion. However, he left without visiting Manipur and chose to make the trip the following day by helicopter.
Shah highlighted that although Gandhi could have initially taken a helicopter, he wished to engage in politics. Shah further mentioned his own three-day stay in Manipur, accompanied by Nityanand, for whom the Manipur government had allocated land for farming. While the situation remains relatively calm, force is on standby.
The volatile situation in Manipur stems from the longstanding clash between the Maithei and Naga-Kuki communities, leading to significant casualties. The state has seen numerous casualties, with 131 lives lost and over 419 people injured since the conflict erupted on May 3rd. More than 65,000 individuals have fled their homes, and over 5,000 incidents have been recorded, prompting the government to implement fencing along the border with Myanmar.
The demands of the Indigenous Tribal Leaders Forum (ITLF) for land to bury the deceased fueled the controversy. ITLF representatives engaged in discussions with the government to find a suitable location. However, the government requested the forum to consider an alternative location, away from the conflict zone. The ITLF accepted this request.
The ongoing violence traces back to the demand of the Maithei community for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status, which was granted to the Naga-Kuki communities. This demand led to the Manipur High Court’s recommendation to include the Maithei community within the ST category. The Maithei community claims that they were once rulers in Myanmar and had called upon the Kuki community to engage in war. This resulted in the Kuki community settling permanently in Manipur.
Despite the Manipur government’s assistance, the political landscape remains complex. The state’s population of around 3.8 million comprises primarily the Maithei, Naga, and Kuki communities. The Maithei community seeks recognition as an ST, while the Naga-Kuki communities oppose this.
As the situation continues to unfold, the Manipur crisis exposes deep-seated ethnic tensions and political maneuvering within the state’s delicate landscape.
Understand Reasons of the Violence in Manipur:
Certainly, here are five key reasons behind the ongoing violence in Manipur:
- Ethnic Clashes: Deep-rooted ethnic tensions between communities, notably the Maithei, Naga, and Kuki, have triggered violent confrontations due to differing identities, cultures, and historical narratives.
- Demand for Scheduled Tribe Status: The contentious demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status by the Maithei community has sparked protests and violence, with opposing communities fearing loss of privileges and representation.
- Resource Competition: Limited land and resources, including water and forests, have led to competition among communities, intensifying conflicts over access, control, and benefits from these vital resources.
- Historical Grievances: Unresolved historical disputes, past conflicts, and perceived injustices have contributed to an atmosphere of animosity and distrust among various ethnic groups.
- Political Exploitation: Political manipulation of ethnic divisions by parties for electoral gains has amplified tensions, turning ethnic identity into a tool for political maneuvering and further fanning the flames of violence.