Manipur Biren

‘I Am Confused,’ Manipur CM On Reasons Behind Violence

Manipur Biren

Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Saturday said he was also confused about reasons for ethnic violence in Manipur, saying his government had not made any recommendations if the Meitei community should or should not be included as Scheduled Tribe and that the answer may be with those who organised solidarity rally after which clashes erupted.

In an exclusive interview with ANI, Biren Singh also targeted the opposition Congress, saying “we are eating the poison fruits, seeds of which were sowed by them” .
“”I am confused as well…I had said a consensus is important…High Court had asked us; my Government had still not recommended if the Meitei community should or should not be included as Scheduled Tribe. There was four-week time. So, I don’t know the reason. It should be the organisation, that organised a solidarity rally to not include Meitei, that should tell the world…They have the answer…,” Biren Singh said when asked about the reasons behind ethnic violence in his state that erupted about two months back.

Asked if an international organisation could have a role to play, in the violence in his state, the Chief Minister said Manipur faces challenges of a border state.

“…Manipur is a neighbour to Myanmar. There is China nearby. 398 km of our borders are porous, unguarded. There are security forces but such a large area can’t be guarded…But going by what is happening, we can neither deny nor vehemently affirm…It seems pre-planned but the reason is not open…,” Biren Singh told ANI.

Biren Singh lashed out at opposition parties particularly the Congress, which has been demanding his resignation over law and order situation in the state.

“…Where did these problems come from? These are deep-rooted. They are not today’s problems. Those who are levelling allegations, like Congress – we are eating the poison fruits, seeds of which were sowed by them…The entire world knows whose mistake was it…The ethnic clash between Kuki and Meitei continued for two-three years, there were losses and deaths. That is why, the Kuki militants rose at that time…they were given a free run from 2005-2018, for 13 years. That is why this is happening…,” he said.

He said the state and Central governments were making all efforts for restoring peace in the state and added that he spoke with Kuki brothers and sisters over the telephone earlier in the day that “let’s forgive and forget”.

“We are making all efforts, at all levels, to restore peace. A few hours ago, I spoke with our Kuki brothers and sisters over the telephone that let’s forgive and forget; reconcile and live together like we always have…Government has only tried to screen the people coming from outside in the wake of Myanmar turmoil and send them back once the situation improves. Our priority is to restore peace normalcy in Manipur,” Biren Singh said.

The Chief Minister also gave a personal message to the people of the state saying all tribes have to live together and he will not allow division of the state.

“We are one. Manipur is a small state but we have 34 tribes. All of these 34 tribes have to live together…We just have to be careful that not many people from outside should come and settle here so that there is no demographic imbalance…As the CM, I promise you I won’t allow Manipur to break or allow separate administration. I will sacrifice to keep everyone as one,” he said.

Biren Singh slammed Rahul Gandhi who visited Manipur for two days earlier this week and alleged that he had come with “a political agenda”.

“We can’t stop anyone. But the timing – it has been 40 days. Why did he not come earlier? He is a Congress leader but in what capacity was he making the visit? I don’t think the timing was right. He seemed to have come with a political agenda. He came and then there was an incident in the market and BJP office was attacked. Did he come for the situation in the state or for political mileage? I don’t support the manner in which he came,” Biren Singh said.

The Chief Minister also revealed reasons for not deciding to go ahead with the decision to resign, saying he felt the support of people who had gathered outside his residence and that he had earlier felt hurt over actions of a section of people despite the Centre and state governments making a lot of efforts for restoration of peace in the state that has witnessed ethnic violence.

The Chief Minister has come under repeated attack from the opposition, particularly the Congress, over the law and order situation in the state.

Ethnic violence erupted in the State on May 3 after clashes during a rally organised by the All Tribal Students Union (ATSU) to protest against the demand for including Meiteis in the list of Scheduled Tribes (STs).

Home Minister Amit Shah visited the state and announced several measures for the restoration of peace. (ANI)

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