Home Minister Amit Shah to travel to Manipur on four-day visit

Union Home Minister Amit Shah will on Monday travel to Manipur on a four-day visit during which he will hold several rounds of security meetings to assess the situation and plan steps to restore normalcy, sources said.

This is Shah’s first visit to the northeastern state since the ethnic clashes broke out on May 3.

The home minister will be in the state from May 29 to June 1. He will arrive in Imphal this evening, the sources said.

Shah will hold several rounds of security meetings to assess the situation and plan further steps to restore normalcy, they said.

He is also expected to meet representatives from the civil society and various groups of the Meitei and the Kuki communities.

Addressing a programme in Assam recently, Shah said he would soon go to Manipur.

Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai had said during a press conference in Imphal that Shah is scheduled to visit Manipur on May 29 to resolve the ongoing crisis.

The ethnic clashes that have claimed more than 75 lives in Manipur broke out after a “Tribal Solidarity March” was organised in the hill districts on May 3 to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe status.

Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Sunday said nearly 40 armed terrorists involved in torching houses and firing at civilians have been killed by security forces since an operation was launched to restore peace in the northeastern state.

The violence was preceded by tension over the eviction of Kuki villagers from reserve forest land, leading to a series of smaller agitations.

Shah on May 15 directed strict action against the perpetrators of violence in Manipur and assured the state of complete support from the Centre in ensuring lasting peace.

The directives came after Shah held a series of meetings with Singh, representatives of the Meitei and the Kuki communities and other stakeholders in New Delhi to review the measures taken for restoring peace in the state.

As many as 10 tribal MLAs belonging to the Chin-Kuki-Mizo-Zomi group in Manipur had demanded a separate administration for their region in the wake of recent violent clashes between the Meiteis and tribals.

Of the 10 legislators, seven belong to the BJP, two from the Kuki People’s Alliance (KPA) and one an Independent. The two KPA and the Independent MLAs were also part of the NDA led by the saffron party.

However, the chief minister had already rejected the demand made by the 10 MLAs for a separate administration for the Kuki-dominated districts of the northeastern state, saying, “The territorial integrity of Manipur will be protected”.