Manipur CM Biren Singh met home minister Amit Shah on Sunday, a day after an all party meeting was held to discuss situation in the violence-hit state.
Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh on Sunday said that the prevailing situation in Manipur is “very chaotic” and it cannot be said with certainty what is the nature of the current phase of violence in the northeastern state. Singh’s comments followed his meeting with Union home minister Amit Shah on Sunday, a day after the Centre convened an all party meeting to discuss the ongoing violence which has engulfed the Bharatiya Janata Party ruled state since May 3.
Singh told reporters, “The immediate effort of the Union home minister Amit Shah is to restore peace and normalcy in Manipur…he has expressed concern over the changing nature of violence in the state.”
“The initial phase of violence was highly political and sensitive but we cannot say what is happening now. The situation is very chaotic,” the CM added, saying he had briefed Shah over the “evolving situation” in Manipur.
‘Shah raised issue of attack on ministers’ properties’
Singh said Shah asked him about the ongoing arson and the destruction of government properties. “He raised issues such as the attacks on the house of Union Minister of State for External Affairs RK Ranjan Singh and the residence of state minister Sushindro Meitei…and hampering the movement of security forces….he has assured the central government will take all possible steps to bring back normalcy in Manipur.”
The Manipur CM also said he had submitted a report to Shah on the steps taken by the state government to restore normalcy.
‘Natural to seek my resignation…nothing to say’
The all-party meeting on Saturday concluded with Opposition leaders demanding Biren Singh’s ouster as they believed “it’s impossible” to restore peace under his leadership. Singh downplayed this concern raised by the Opposition parties as merely ‘politics’ and insisted on “working together” instead.
“Opposition will always seek CM’s resignation, it is natural for Congress…nothing to say,” He added, “It’s time for all the stakeholders, civil bodies, MLAs and political leaders to sit together and identify the areas where all must work.”
Several Opposition leaders including Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MP Manoj Jha spoke to the media after the all party meet and raised reservations about the role of Singh in handling the Manipur crisis. “The Opposition emphasised that Manipur requires a healing touch…it needs a face that must unite and not divide,” Jha told reporters. Opposition leaders also demanded that an all-party delegation be sent to Manipur.
Trinamool Congress also released a statement for the meeting where it raised this demand. TMC also slammed the Modi government and asked if it was “trying to turn Manipur into Kashmir.”
Clashes broke out in Manipur on May 3 during a rally organised by the All Tribals Students Union (ATSU), held in protest against the demand for the inclusion of Meiteis in the Scheduled Tribe (ST) list. This resulted in an ethnic violence between Meitei and Kuki in the state. Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur’s population.