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219 people killed in Manipur violence: Guv Anusuiya Uikey

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IMPHAL, Feb 28: Manipur Governor Anusuiya Uikey on Wednesday said that 219 people have been killed in the ethnic violence in the state since May last year.

Addressing the Manipur Assembly during the commencement of the budget session, she said that 198 companies of central armed police forces and 140 army columns have been deployed along with state forces to maintain law and order in the northeastern state.

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She condoled the deaths of 219 people in the ethnic strife and said that an ex-gratia amount of Rs 10 lakh each is being disbursed to the next of kin of the deceased after due verification.

The mortal remains of the victims have been handed over to their kin and their last rites have been performed, Uikey said.

The Governor exuded confidence that all stakeholders and people in general will contribute towards the restoration of peaceful coexistence and brotherhood among various communities of the state.

“Manipur has always been and will continue to be a multi-cultural state that respects the diverse identities of the state. The government believes in taking all the people along, irrespective of their identity, in its path of development,” she said.

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“The state government has been working tirelessly under challenging circumstances to address various complex issues related to the present law and order situation following the violence that started on May 3, 2023,” she said.

“Within the first few days (of the violence), evacuation of stranded people on both sides of the conflict was taken up on a war footing. Manipur State Transport Services transported over 4,000 students and stranded civilians to safer places,” the governor said.

She said that pre-fabricated houses have been built for displaced people living in relief camps and the government has also formulated a scheme for the construction and repair of permanent houses that were damaged during the violence.

“Basic analysis of damage assessment has been completed,” she said.

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The Governor said that students staying in relief camps have been linked to nearby schools.

She said that a commission of inquiry chaired by a former chief justice of the high court was constituted by the Centre to investigate the facts that led to the genesis of the present situation.

A peace committee has also been constituted to help establish peace and harmony among various ethnic groups, Uikey said.

“The government is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that justice is delivered to our sisters both in the hills and the valley, who were victims of sexual violence,” she said.

Uikey said that the government has handed over 29 cases to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and one to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for independent and transparent probe.

She said that a peace agreement has been signed with the militant outfit United National Liberation Front (UNLF), “which is anticipated to usher in a new era of peace”, and encouraged other armed groups to participate in the peace process.

On the Centre’s move to scrap the Free Movement Regime (FMR) with neighbouring Myanmar, she said the decision was taken keeping in mind India’s internal security and demographic structure of the northeastern states.

Later, the House condoled the deaths of former Governor P B Acharya, former secretary of Manipur assembly, Ningthoujam Hera Singh, and 10 former members, and observed a two-minute silence as a mark of respect to the departed souls.

The budget session of the assembly will continue till March 5. (PTI)

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