Former Manipur CM O Ibobi Singh along with leaders of nine other opposition political parties addressing media in Imphal on Monday

Ten opposition parties in Manipur on September 11 asked who is taking responsibility for the maintenance of law and order in Manipur.

Addressing a joint press conference at Congress Bhavan in Imphal, former chief minister and senior Congress leader Okram Ibobi Singh asked whether the state government had handed over the responsibility for maintenance of law and order and protecting properties and lives of the people to the Meira Paibis (women torch bearers) or civil society organisations or local youth clubs.

“If so, then it shows the incompetency of the incumbent government. The government should better surrender,” he said.

He also asked the reason for the “BJP’s so-called double-engine government” for maintaining silence even as Manipur is reeling under crisis for the last four months.

“Why the so called double-engine government remains a mute spectator even as the Assam Rifles is meting out mass atrocities to the people in the state?” Ibobi Singh further asked.

Since the eruption of the violence, the people in the valley have been accusing the Assam Rifles of its partiality while dealing with the crisis. The people have also been demanding withdrawal of the Assam Rifles from the state.

“While the violence continues unabated, now it has been very clear that the Assam Rifles indulged in barbaric acts when they shot to kill two civilians and injured several others at Pallel on last Friday,” the former chief minister alleged.

“Why the state government is still not taking action against the Assam Rifles?” he also asked, while stating that the maintenance of law and order is a state subject.

He said that the state government should take the matter to the Centre as the Assam Rifles is directly under the control of the Union home ministry.

“It is due to the failure on the part of the state government to take up effective actions to maintain the law-and-order situation, Meira Paibis, civil society organisations and local youth clubs came out and took the law into their hands,” he said.

Attending the press conference, Manipur unit CPI leader L Sotinkumar alleged that instead of coming up with a concrete step to restore peace and normalcy, the “BJP’s double-engine government” seems to be adding fuel to the fire.

“The recent barbaric act of the Assam Rifles had not only killed two persons but also injured several women. The 10 like-minded political parties strongly condemned the brutality meted out to the women by the Assam Rifles,” the CPI leader also said.

He demanded that a judicial inquiry should be initiated into the recent Pallel incident.

Sotinkumar then urged the government to bring a solution to the prevailing crisis at the earliest while saying that the delay in resolving the crisis will lead to an irreparable devastation in the state.

Leaders of other like-minded political parties including CPI(M), JD(U), AIFB, RSP, Shiv Sena Udhav Thakrey, Trinamool Congress, NCP and AAP also attended the press conference.

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