The Communist Party of India (CPI) on Friday expressed deep concern over the ongoing violence in Manipur saying that reports of violence and arson coming from the state are matters of serious concern for the entire nation.
The party urged the central government to initiate dialogue to all stakeholders to maintain peace.
The CPI, in a statement, said the ongoing turmoil in Manipur is a direct result of the policy of dividing the people pursued by the so-called ‘double engine’ government of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
“Divide and strife between people were encouraged for electoral gains, resulting in strategically located State like Manipur being engulfed by all-encompassing violence. This violence has a background of divisions and it cannot be controlled enduringly by using force. This is testimony to the failure of the Manipur policy pursued by the Union Home Ministry and the state government,” the CPI statement said.
CPI further said many people have lost their lives and a greater number is displaced. Burning of houses and shops is widespread. Conflict reaching alarming levels of violence is disheartening and shows that the people of Manipur are losing their confidence in the state, the party said.
The CPI demanded the Union Home Ministry and the state government reach out to all stakeholders and political parties for the immediate cessation of hostilities.
“CPI understands the conflict as a political and social conflict and not merely a law and order issue. The CPI demands of the Union Home Ministry and the State Government of Manipur to reach out to all stakeholders and political parties for the immediate cessation of hostilities,” the statement said.
“A political solution to the crisis should be reached by taking all opinions and people into confidence and restoring normalcy and peace in Manipur. CPI appeals to all sections of the people of Manipur to maintain peace and tranquillity,” the statement added.
Violence broke out on May 3 during the ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ called by the All Tribal Student Union Manipur (ATSUM) in the Torbung area of Churachandpur district to protest the demand of Meiteis, who dominate the Imphal Valley, for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.
To tackle the worsening law and order situation after tribal groups took out rallies in several districts of Manipur, the state government has suspended mobile internet for five days. Along with a ban on large gatherings, a night curfew has been imposed in several state districts.
Earlier, the Northeast Frontier Railways cancelled all Manipur-bound trains. “No trains are entering Manipur till the situation is improved. The decision has been taken after the Manipur government advised to stop train movement,” Sabyasachi De, Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO) of Northeast Frontier Railway, told ANI.
The Indian Railways have also cancelled the operations of four trains for May 5 and May 6 following the violence in the state.
“Manipur state authorities have advised to stop train operations in Manipur due to the prevailing Law and Order situation there. Four trains have been cancelled. The decision was taken initially only for May 5 and 6,” the Railways said.
Moreover, the army and paramilitary forces have been deployed in Manipur and flag marches are being held to control the situation after violence erupted broke out on May 3 during a rally organised by the All Tribals Students Union (ATSU) Manipur to protest the demand for inclusion of Meitei/Meetei in the Scheduled Tribe category.
On Thursday, Union Home Minister Amit Shah held two meetings over video-conferencing and spoke with the Chief ministers of Manipur and neighbouring states over the situation in the northeastern state.