Manipur Governor appeals for peace and harmony amid caste violence that claimed 219 lives

Manipur Governor Anusuiya Uikey

Imphal: Manipur Governor Anusuiya Uikey on Wednesday urged all sections of the society to work together to restore peace and harmony in the state, which has been rocked by caste violence since May last year. In his address at the beginning of the Manipur Assembly Budget Session, the Governor said that the state government is taking all possible steps to ensure law and order and provide relief and rehabilitation to the affected people.

The Governor said that the caste violence, which erupted on May 3, 2023, after a clash between two communities over a land dispute in Churachandpur district, has claimed the lives of 219 people so far. He said that the state government has announced an ex-gratia amount of Rs 10 lakh each to the families of the deceased after proper verification. He also expressed his condolences to the bereaved families and prayed for the speedy recovery of the injured.

The Governor said that the state government has deployed 198 companies of Central Armed Police Forces and 140 contingents of the Army along with the state forces to maintain law and order in the affected areas. He said that the state government has also initiated several measures to ease the tension and restore normalcy in the state.

He said that the state government has evacuated more than 4,000 students and stranded citizens from both sides of the conflict to safe places with the help of Manipur State Transport Services. He said that the students living in the relief camps have been affiliated with nearby schools and provided with free textbooks, uniforms, and mid-day meals. He said that the state government has also arranged for free medical camps, food and water supply, and sanitation facilities in the relief camps.

The Governor said that the Central Government has constituted an inquiry commission under the chairmanship of a former Chief Justice of the High Court to investigate the facts responsible for the current situation. He said that the commission will submit its report within six months. He said that the state government has also formed a peace committee comprising representatives of various communities, civil society organizations, and religious leaders to establish peace and harmony among various ethnic groups. He said that the government has handed over 29 cases to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and one case to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for independent and transparent investigation.

Manipur Governor Anusuiya Uikey

The Governor said that Manipur has always been and will always be a multicultural state which respects diversity. He said that the government believes in taking all people along on the path of development. He said that the government is committed to protecting the rights and interests of all communities and ensuring their welfare and progress. He appealed to all stakeholders and common people to contribute to the restoration of peaceful co-existence and brotherhood among the various communities of the state. He said that the government is hopeful that the situation will improve soon and that the state will overcome this difficult phase with the collective efforts of all.