IMPHAL, May 26 (PTI): Union home minister Amit Shah is scheduled to visit violence-hit Manipur on May 29 to resolve the ongoing ethnic crisis.
Union minister of state for home Nityanand Rai said this at a press conference here on Thursday evening.
“Union Home Minister Amit Shah would stay for three days and would work to end the ethnic crisis and deliver justice to all the people,” Rai said.
“We will talk with people at different places and listen to their views and opinions,” Rai said.
The recent unrest has only impeded development, Rai said, adding there was calm and peace for the last nine years with no blockade and few bandhs.
Rai said all problems and issues would be solved in peaceful manner and people should have faith in the government and shun all forms of violence.
Shah on Thursday appealed to the people of Manipur to maintain peace and promised that justice will be ensured to all sections of society.
Shah, while laying the foundation stone of the tenth campus of the National Forensic Sciences University (NFSU) at Changsari in Assam’s Kamrup district, said he will travel to Manipur to help resolve disputes.
“I will go to Manipur soon and stay there for three days but before that, both groups should remove mistrust and suspicion among themselves and ensure that peace is restored in the state,” he said.
“The Centre will ensure that justice is delivered to all those who suffered in the clashes in the state, but people must hold dialogue to ensure peace,” Shah said.
During the last six years, prior to the recent clashes, there was no blockade or bandh in Manipur and “people must ensure the return of such a situation again”.
“Charcha ke saath hi shanti ho sakti hain (Peace can only be restored through dialogue),” he said.
Clashes broke out in Manipur after a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the hill districts on May 3 to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.
The violence in Manipur was preceded by tension over the eviction of Kuki villagers from reserve forest land, which had led to a series of smaller agitations.
Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur’s population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley. Tribals — Nagas and Kukis — constitute another 40 per cent of the population and reside in the hill districts.
The ethnic clashes claimed over 70 lives and some 10,000 army and paramilitary personnel had to be deployed to restore normalcy in the northeastern state.