New Delhi, May 30, 2023, IANS
A delegation of eight Congress members met President Droupadi Murmu on Tuesday to apprise her of the situation in Manipur, where violence erupted on May 3.
The delegation, led by party chief Mallikarjun Kharge, submitted a four-page memorandum and demanded a high-level inquiry committee headed by a serving or retired Supreme Court Judge to investigate the matter.
Speaking at a press conference held at the party headquarters after the meeting, Congress General Secretary Jairam Ramesh stated, "Our delegation met with President Murmu regarding the Manipur issue. The memorandum outlined the details of the situation and called for appropriate action to be taken."
Ramesh further highlighted the events that occurred in Manipur 22 years ago, in June 2001, when the state was engulfed in violence, resulting in the burning of the high court and state assembly.
He alleged that similar divisive and polarized politics of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were responsible for the current situation, comparing it to the past incidents under the leadership of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and the current Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Criticizing Prime Minister Modi's absence during the turmoil, Ramesh said, "While Manipur was burning since May 3, Modi was preoccupied with the Karnataka elections. Since then, we have been demanding strict action from the central government."
Ramesh added that the memorandum presented by the Congress delegation contained 12 points addressing the urgent need for intervention and resolution in Manipur.
Former Chief Minister of Manipur and the leader of the Congress Legislative Party in the state, Okram Ibobi Singh, expressed his concern over the ongoing violent incidents between the Maitei and Kuki communities. Singh stated, "This is an unprecedented situation in the history of Manipur. The unfortunate incidents that began on May 3 have resulted in numerous casualties."
Questioning the intentions of both the central and state governments, Singh remarked, "We are uncertain about the agenda of the governments. Despite reports of continued firing, and the recent news of two more deaths, the identification of the deceased remains pending. This is a situation that has never occurred before."
Singh also drew attention to a previous unfortunate incident in 2001 when Vajpayee was the Prime Minister and L.K. Advani served as his deputy. He explained that after the amendment of the ground rules, the people of Manipur felt a breach in the integrity of their state, which eventually led to the aforementioned violent incident. Singh highlighted the alarming number of missing individuals, the destruction of around 2,000 homes, and the displacement of affected residents to relief camps without adequate supplies.
"We submitted a memorandum to the President of India to safeguard Manipur. Additionally, we are scheduled to meet the Home Minister in Imphal on Wednesday," Singh disclosed.
The four-page memorandum presented by the Congress delegation aimed to draw attention to the extraordinary circumstances prevailing in Manipur, urging swift action to restore normalcy and alleviate the ongoing crisis. The document outlined the instances of violence and arson that have plagued the state in recent weeks. (Edited)