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Business News/ News / India/  Amit Shah says Manipur ethnic violence ‘not terrorism’, stresses need to 'bridge' differences between Meitei, Kuki
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Amit Shah says Manipur ethnic violence ‘not terrorism’, stresses need to 'bridge' differences between Meitei, Kuki

Union Home Minister Amit Shah dismisses claims that Manipur ethnic violence is terrorism, emphasising the need to resolve differences through dialogue. Manipur Chief Minister Biren Singh supports the removal of the Free Movement Regime to address the disruption caused by people from Myanmar.

Union Home Minister and BJP leader Amit Shah said the Manipur clashes that broke out between Meitei and Kuki communities in May 2023 were not terrorism. (PTI)Premium
Union Home Minister and BJP leader Amit Shah said the Manipur clashes that broke out between Meitei and Kuki communities in May 2023 were not terrorism. (PTI)

Manipur Ethnic Violence news: Union Home Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Amit Shah, in an interview, dismissed claims that the ethnic violence that broke out in Manipur between Kuki and Meitei communities in May 2023 was ‘terrorism’.

Amit Shah also stressed that the government would need to resolve 'differences' between two communities through 'dialogue and empathy'.

“It will be our priority after elections that we hold discussions with both the sides and come up with an amicable solution. The situation in neighbouring Myanmar has added to our problem, but we have taken steps like fencing of the border and regulating the Free Movement Regime (FMR) along the India-Myanmar border," Amit Shah said in the interview. 

Also Read: Ghost of partition past lingers as Delhi mulls fencing British era India-Myanmar border

Manipur Chief Minister and BJP leader Biren Singh also claimed that the peaceful situation in Manipur had been disrupted by the 'infusion of people from the outside (Myanmar)' and hailed the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government's decision to remove the FMR.

A year after clashes broke out between Kuki Zo and Meitei indigenous communities, Manipur continues to remain on edge with even a minor incident, such as sporadic clashes between volunteer groups, capable of tipping it over. Moreover, the security agencies are yet to recover all the firearms looted during the violence last year that left 200 dead and 60,000 people displaced.

The anger and tensions came to a boil on May 3, 2023, when a 'Tribal Solidarity March' was organised in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community's demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status, which led to ethnic clashes between the Meitei and the Kuki communities.

The three main ethnic groups in the northeast state have historically clustered in different parts of the state's geography—the Meiteis in the valley, the Kukis in the southern hills, and the Nagas in the northern hills. But there has never been an absolute, hostile segregation of the communities—until last May.

The Meiteis population is now concentrated in Imphal Valley, and the Kukis have shifted to the hills.

On the national political front, the Congress has charged the ruling BJP in Manipur and Prime Minister Narendra Modi with not doing enough for the strife-torn state. The Grand Old party also accused PM Modi of not visiting Manipur, while Rahul Gandhi began his Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra from Manipur ahead of the Lok Sabha elections 2024.

According to officials, more than 50,000 people live in camps following the unrest.

The Lok Sabha elections in Manipur were held on April 19 and April 26 for the constituencies of Inner Manipur and Outer Manipur.

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Published: 09 May 2024, 04:54 PM IST
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