Date: Monday, July 10,2023
CPI(M)-CPI joint delegation, after visiting strife-torn Manipur, is of the view that continuance of Biren Singh Government is a major impediment in restoring peace and normalcy in the state. All communities and sections along with the civil society need to be brought in to begin a meaningful exercise to bring back the state from the edge.
The delegation comprised of Bikashranjan Bhattacharya, John Brittas [CPI(M)], Binoy Viswam, K. Subbarayan and P. Sandosh Kumar [CPI] visited refugee camps and different locations in the valley and hill for three days from July 6, 2023. The delegation, which interacted with refugees in the plain and hills alike, could not miss the fact that there was a striking similarity in their long ordeal. More than 60,000 people have been uprooted, their lives and livelihoods devastated. They are haunted by the trauma of their houses being set ablaze and family members shot dead.
The delegation had frank discussions with cross section of the civil society. The dominant view was that the state administration collapsed completely with the Chief Minister loosing legitimacy and credibility. Therefore, the continuation of the Chief Minister Biren Singh in office is untenable. People are pained and hurt at the deafening silence of the Prime Minister about the situation in Manipur. Delegation called on the Governor Anusuiya Uikey and conveyed its view. The head of the state was urged to take all possible steps to restore the faith of all sections. She said she was distraught at the events and confided that she never met with such a situation in her life. She said she was diligently submitting detailed reports to the President, Prime Minister, Defence Minister and the Home Minister.
The delegation noted that, though 60,000 armed personnel from different forces are deployed, they are not effective in the absence of functional civil administration. Thousands of Government employees belonging to Kukis and Meiteis have fled the valley and the hills respectively, crippling the administration.
The delegation noted that there were systematic and orchestrated attempts to bring in a communal turn to the ethnic violence. The role of the political leadership in this also is generally felt. Churches and temples were targeted, vandalised and burnt along with community-run schools even in the heart of Imphal City. Delegation visited few places to have first-hand account of such organised devastation.
The delegation is of the view that all charges and accusations, claims and counterclaims be kept in abeyance and the sole aim should be to restore peace and normalcy. Centre and the State administration should make all efforts to rally all sections, declare urgent measures for the rehabilitation and mitigate the sufferings of the people.