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Business News/ Politics / News/  Manipur BJP MLA claims violence a result of CM Biren Singh government's ‘complicity’
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Manipur BJP MLA claims violence a result of CM Biren Singh government's ‘complicity’

Ethnic clashes in Manipur have escalated with the circulation of viral videos showing Kuki Zo women being paraded naked by Meitei men. Manipur BJP MLA Paolienlal Haokip has written an opinion article claiming that the violence is a result of state complicity.

Manipur CM N Biren Singh on Friday (PTI)Premium
Manipur CM N Biren Singh on Friday (PTI)

Manipur Viral Video news: India's northeastern state of Manipur has been burning for almost three months now. The violence that broke as ethnic clashes has taken a gruesome turn wherein videos of Kuki Zo women being paraded naked by a mob of Meitei men went viral earlier last week. 

While the incident shook the nation, several has been accusing Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh of delaying action. Opposition has been demanding the resignation of the CM, and a debate in the Parliament involving Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who only broke his silence on the matter after the viral video angered Indians. 

In an opinion article in India Today, Manipur BJP MLA has said that the violence in Manipur as a result of "complicity of the state". Manipur BJP MLA Paolienlal Haokip is one of the 10 legislators from indigenous communities who had earlier written to CM Biren Singh seeking a separate state for districts dominated by Kuki Zo community. 

In the opinion article the BJP MLA has said, “Proof of state complicity can clearly be discerned from the fact that what started out as a purely ethnic-communal violence was later on attempted to be portrayed by the Chief Minister as the state's war on 'narco terrorists'". 

“The narrative seemed to be aimed at justifying the use of state forces to aid the radicalised Meitei militia in attacking and burning down Kuki Zo settlements in the foothills surrounding the Imphal valley, beyond which it doesn’t seem to hold much water." the BJP MLA added in his opinion article. 

CM N Biren Singh who enjoyed majority support in the state is also a part of the Meitei community. 

The indigenous community MLAs who had written to CM Biren Singh in May, seven of them belonging to BJP, had said the violence was perpetrated by the valley-majority Meitei community and was "tacitly supported" by the BJP-run state government.

Since the horrendous video of the two Kuki Zo women being paraded naked became viral on social media, several sections of the Manipur society have claimed that there had been several more incidences of sexual harassment on women. 

Various associations have claimed that at least seven Kuki-Zo women have been raped since the outbreak of the violence in Manipur on 3 May. However, Manipur Chief Minister Biren Singh has claimed that only one incident of rape has been reported, apparently referring to the sexual assault of one of the survivors seen in the viral video that surfaced last week, as told to India Today

In the opinion article Manipur BJP MLA Paolienlal Haokip further alleged that CM Biren Singh "is known to be hand in glove" with radical groups like Meitei Leepun and Arambai Tenggol, who he alleged were "the main executors of the ethnic cleansing of Kuki Zo community".

"A biased government anywhere is detrimental to peace, and although such bias was always present in some degree in Manipur, it accentuated under the current Chief Minister," Haokip wrote.

The hill-majority Kukis have alleged the BJP government in Manipur led by Chief Minister N Biren Singh has been targeting them systematically - using the war on drugs campaign as the cover - to remove them from the forests and their homes in the hills.

The Meiteis - who cannot buy land in the hills while the tribals, who live in the hills, are allowed to own land in the valley - are worried their place in the valley will shrink over time. To this, the Kukis say the Meiteis if given ST status will expand out to the hills and take their land.

Over 160 people have lost their lives and several injured since ethnic violence broke out in Manipur on May 3, when a 'Tribal Solidarity March' was organised in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community's demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.

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Updated: 24 Jul 2023, 03:20 PM IST
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