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10-Party Delegation Urges Manipur Governor Anusuiya Uikey To Initiate Peace Talks Between Warring Communities

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IMPHAL, Nov 18: A delegation of 10 political parties has urged Manipur Governor Anusuiya Uikey to initiate peace talks between the two warring communities in the state for restoration of peace and normalcy, a statement issued by the Raj Bhavan said.

The team led by Congress Legislature Party leader and former chief minister O Ibobi Singh submitted a memorandum to the governor on Friday evening, noting that peace cannot be restored in the state without the intervention of the Centre, especially Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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They demanded immediate initiation for “peace talks with the two communities so that a durable solution can be achieved to the ongoing conflict”, the statement said.

The delegation met the governor after ITLF, a frontal organisation of Kuki-Zo tribes in Manipur, had on Wednesday threatened to establish a “self-governed separate administration” in areas where these tribes have a majority.

The state government has strongly condemned the Indigenous Tribal Leaders Forum’s call for “self-governed separate administration” in districts dominated by members of the Kuki-Zo community and termed it as illegal.

The delegation urged Uikey to approach the prime minister to initiate a dialogue with the conflicting communities.

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It also appealed to the governor to facilitate a meeting of all political parties in Manipur with the prime minister to find a solution to the conflict under his leadership and guidance.

The delegation comprised representatives of AAP, AIFB, AITC, CPI, CPI(M), JD(U), NCP, RSP and SS(UBT).

Uikey assured the political leaders to take steps to ensure a dialogue process with the two communities to bring back peace and normalcy in the state.

“Every possible step for initiating dialogue process will be taken up and she will pursue to the prime minister for initiating talks with all political parties in the state,” the Raj Bhavan statement said.

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Uikey also told the leaders that she has submitted reports about the unrest and is in touch with the central leaders.

Manipur has remained gripped by recurring bouts of violence since ethnic clashes first erupted in May. More than 180 people have been killed since then.

The clashes have occurred over a number of grievances that both sides have against the other, however, the flashpoint of the crisis has been a move to give Meiteis Scheduled Tribe status, which has since been rolled back and an attempt to turf out tribals living in protected forest areas.

Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur’s population and live mostly in the Imphal valley, while tribals, which include Nagas and Kukis, constitute 40 per cent and reside mainly in the hill districts. (PTI)

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