Amid criticism from the Opposition parties over the current crisis in the state, Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh said on Monday that his government is taking measures to restore peace in the northeastern state at the earliest.
"We are working on different initiatives, both officially and unofficially, to restore peace in Manipur. Confidence building measures are ongoing with the help of religious leaders, traders' community and civil societies,” Singh told IANS in response to a query on the initiatives taken by his government to restore peace in the strife-torn state.
Ethnic clashes erupted in Manipur on May 3, and since then scores of people have lost their lives while thousands have been forced to take refuge in the relief camps.
Singh, who has been blamed by the Congress and other Opposition parties for the prevailing situation in Manipur, said, “We are indulging in a dialogue process. We are hopeful of restoring peace at the earliest.”
“Illegal migrants trickling into the state is the real reason behind this situation.It all started when the Manipur government officially started taking biometrics of the illegal immigrants in Manipur," the Chief Minister told IANS.
He said, "This was done on the directions of the Ministry of Home Affairs and was supposed to be completed by September. This is what triggered the crisis. Traditionally, all the Kukis and Meiteis and everyone else live peacefully in the state.”
"The Government of India is aware of the ground realities in Manipur. On May 29, the MHA wrote to the Manipur government, instructing to continue capturing biometrics of the illegal immigrants. Meaning, this issue is not made up by the Manipur government nor there is any agenda of hatred towards the Kuki community.This move was solely directed towards controlling the influx," Singh said.
It is also natural to see the influx as there is a war going on in Myanmar, he asserted.
Asked about the ghastly incident of two women being stripped and paraded on May 4 in Thoubal district, the video of which had gone viral on social media, the Chief Minister said, “It felt very bad seeing the video. We took action within 24 hours after the video surfaced.”
Manipur Police have arrested six persons so far in connection with the horrific incident.
Meanwhile, the BJP on Monday slammed the Opposition parties after both Houses of the Parliament were adjourned for the day over the Manipur issue, accusing them of running away from discussion in the matter.