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Business News/ News / India/  Manipur CM N Biren Singh's ‘political ambition’ inflamed ethnic clashes, reveals Assam Rifles report
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Manipur CM N Biren Singh's ‘political ambition’ inflamed ethnic clashes, reveals Assam Rifles report

Assam Rifles report points to Manipur state government's role in ongoing violence, citing policies that ‘target Kukis’ and state forces' purported support of clashes.

A presentation by Assam Rifles officials made note of the 'state forces’ tacit support' of the clashes and the 'dismemberment of law-and-order machinery'. (ANI)Premium
A presentation by Assam Rifles officials made note of the 'state forces’ tacit support' of the clashes and the 'dismemberment of law-and-order machinery'. (ANI)

Members of the Assam Rifles have attributed the ongoing violence in Manipur to what they describe as the "political authoritarianism and ambition" of Chief Minister N Biren Singh. 

The BJP-led government's stance on various issues has allegedly exacerbated the conflict and caused divisions between communities in the northeastern state, according to a report by Al Jazeera

Congress party has labeled the situation as a "BJP-manufactured crisis" and has accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of shirking responsibility for the escalating tensions.

According to an assessment prepared by Assam Rifles officials in Manipur, the blame lies in part with the state government. 

Al Jazeera, citing The Reporters’ Collective, which had viewed the presentation, emphasized several policies that "drove home the impression that he (Biren Singh) is targeting Kukis." The presentation also noted the "state forces’ tacit support" of the clashes and the “dismemberment of law-and-order machinery."

Since violence initially broke out in Manipur, more than 200 people have been killed. The spiral of violence began in early May last year after a 'Tribal Solidarity March' was organised in the hill districts to protest against the majority Meitei community's demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status. 

Sporadic violence has been reported from the north-eastern state this year and thousands continue to live in relief camps far from their homes.

ALSO READ: Armed group clash claims 2 lives in Manipur just 6 days before Lok Sabha elections 2024

The presentation additionally detailed the problem of unauthorized migration from neighboring Myanmar and the resurgence of demands for the creation of Kukiland. Meitei Revivalism has also contributed to escalating the situation, as noted in the presentation, with two organizations—Meitei Leepun and Arambai Tenggol—being cited for fueling the conflict.

Kuki leaders have accused the two groups of spearheading Meitei-led assaults against their people. The relatively new Meitei Leepun group is reportedly influenced by the ideology of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and has repeatedly professed support for the government led by N Biren Singh (also a Meitei). 

Meanwhile, Arambai Tenggol has also been accused of targeting members of the Naga community. The group was suspected of involvement in a gunfight with the Assam Rifles ahead of Home Minister Amit Shah's visit to the region in June 2023.

The radical group had 'summoned' nearly all MLAs and MPs in Manipur for a meeting in January to put forth several demands. They called for Kukis to be delisted from the scheduled tribes list and sought to revoke the Suspension of Operations agreement between the Centre and Kuki militant groups. 

Arambai Tenggol had also demanded the deportation of refugees to camps in Mizoram, border fencing and the replacement of Assam Rifles with other paramilitary forces. 

Several reports indicate that the lawmakers had committed to backing the demands.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Published: 15 Apr 2024, 03:22 PM IST
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