Shah to visit Manipur for 3 days, hold talks to resolve ethnic crisis

Guwahati, May 25 (IANS) Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on Thursday that he would soon visit strife-torn Manipur for three days and hold talks with all the stakeholders to resolve the prevailing ethnic crisis in the northeastern state that is continuing since May 3.

After laying the foundation stone for the 11th campus of the National Forensic Sciences University (NFSU) in Guwahati, Shah said that the violence in Manipur was triggered by an order of the Manipur High Court.

Urging people of all communities in Manipur to maintain peace and ethnic harmony, the Home Minister said that talks among all the stakeholders are essential to resolve the present crisis.

“No perpetrators would be spared and justice would be provided to all the victims and affected persons. During my three-day proposed visit to Manipur, I will talk to all concerned to resolve the problem at the earliest. Violence has no place in today’s society.

“During the past six years, there was no bandh or blockade as peace was restored in Manipur. People must maintain this trend for the all-round development and welfare of the people,” Shah said.

He also urged people of all communities to leave aside the mistrust and misunderstanding and restore peace and ethnic harmony through talks.

Shah’s comments were the first open statement by a high-profile Central minister after ethnic violence broke out in BJP-ruled Manipur more than three weeks ago.

The northeastern state witnessed widespread violent clashes in more than 10 districts after the May 3 ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ called by the All Tribal Students’ Union of Manipur to oppose the demand for inclusion of the Meitei community in the ST category, claiming over 70 lives and injuring more than 300 people.

Acting on a writ petition filed by the Meetei (Meitei) Trade Union, the Manipur High Court’s acting Chief Justice M.V. Muralidaran had on April 19 directed the state government to submit the recommendation for inclusion of the Meitei community in the Scheduled Tribe (ST) category to the Union Tribal Affairs Ministry.

The high court order snowballed into a major controversy with thousands of tribals turning up for the ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ on May 3.

Meanwhile, a group of MLAs from Manipur are likely to meet Shah in Guwahati to apprise him of the prevailing situation in the trouble-torn state.

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