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Tuesday, July 23rd, 2024

Will Shah be able to make Meitei-Kuki friends in Manipur? Bhagwat has given the task of bringing the enemies together


New Delhi: Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that the Home Ministry will talk to both the Meitei and Kuki communities as soon as possible to bridge the ethnic divide in Manipur. While reviewing the security situation in Manipur, Shah directed that strict action should be taken as per the law against those spreading violence in the northeastern state. The Home Minister also said that if needed, the deployment of central forces will be increased. They should be deployed strategically to restore peace and harmony in the state. The way Shah held a high-level meeting on Manipur violence is being linked to the statement of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat.

Shah made a special plan for Manipur

Mohan Bhagwat commented on Manipur in Nagpur on June 10. he/she said that Manipur has been waiting for peace to be established for the last one year. Ten years ago there was peace in Manipur. It seemed that the gun culture had ended there, but violence has suddenly increased in the state. The situation in Manipur will have to be considered on priority. After this statement of Bhagwat, Amit Shah now held a high-level meeting with the officials. During this, Shah also directed to ensure that there is no further incident of violence in the state. Not only this, the Home Ministry will talk to both the groups, Meitei and Kuki, so that the ethnic division can be bridged as soon as possible. he/she also directed the Chief Secretary of Manipur to ensure proper health and education facilities for the displaced people, their rehabilitation.

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Interaction with both Meitei and Kuki groups

The Home Minister said that the Central Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is fully committed to ensure the safety of all the citizens of the northeastern state. he/she mentioned the importance of a coordinated approach to resolve the ongoing ethnic conflict. The statement said that the Central Government is actively cooperating with the Manipur government in strengthening the security situation in the state. Amit Shah may have given strict instructions to the officials to handle the situation, but the question in everyone’s mind is what is the reason for the dispute between the two indigenous communities Meitei and Kuki in Manipur?

What is the dispute between Meitei and Kuki

Violence has been continuing in Manipur since March 2023. The tribal Kukis took out a solidarity march in the hill districts of the state in protest against the demand for granting Scheduled Tribe status to the majority Meitei community from the Manipur High Court. No one had thought that the violence that erupted after this would take such a shape. More than 220 people and security personnel from the Kuki and Meitei communities have been killed. The conflict between the tribes in Manipur is not new, but this is the first time that such a deep gap has been created between the two communities which is continuously increasing. The Kuki and Naga tribes together constitute about 40 percent (25% and 15%) of the total population of Manipur. Both are Christians and have tribal status and economic reservation facilities. The Meitei community is a little more than 50 percent of the population and most are Hindus. 8 percent of the Meitei population is Muslim, which is called ‘Meitei Pangal’. The Meitei community dominates Manipur. Most of the people of this community live in Imphal Valley.

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Why is the Kuki community angry

40 percent of the tribal population of Naga and Kuki live in the rest of the hilly areas. According to the current law, Meitei cannot buy land outside the hills. The Kuki tribes fear that after giving ST status to Meitei, employment opportunities for them will decrease. This is believed to be the main reason behind the recent conflict. Both Nagas and Kukis together oppose the Meitei community because they believe that due to their living in the hills, economic development does not reach them. All the benefits go to the Meitei living in the plains.

What is the reason for the anger of the Meitei community

Meitei are a little more than 50 percent of the population but 60 percent of the seats in the assembly are reserved for them. Therefore, when the Manipur High Court ordered the inclusion of the Meitei caste in the Scheduled Tribe, a terrible conflict broke out among these communities. Meanwhile, the matter reached the Supreme Court and the decision of the High Court was questioned. In June 2023, the Manipur High Court started the process of ‘reviewing’ its order. On the other hand, the issue of law and order in the state is also serious. This is the reason why Home Minister Amit Shah himself has given necessary instructions to the officials to ensure the safety of all citizens in the state. Along with this, he/she stressed the need to bring together the representatives of both the Kuki and Meitei communities and resolve the issues that create distrust between them. It remains to be seen how much effect it will have.

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