The Rights and Risks Analysis Group (RRAG) on Monday urged the central government to impose President’s rule in strife-torn Manipur, even as it said the ethnic riots between the Meiteis and the Kukis in Manipur has turned into a “full scale civil war”, destabilising peace and security in the North East.
“The failure to bring the situation under control after the imposition of Article 355 of the Constitution on May 6, 2023 calls for the imposition of Article 356 of the Constitution to provide a government that is perceived as neutral,” RRAG Director, Suhas Chakma said.
He said the current arrangement of Chief Minister Biren Singh supervising the security situation in the valley and the Union Ministry of Home Affairs supervising the situation in the hills only “cements the division”.
“The involvement of the insurgent groups of the Meiteis and the Kukis in the riots has the potential to spread the insurgency across the North Eastern region and destabilise the region,” RRAG warned.
Chakma said the imposition of President’s rule would provide fresh impetus to the peace process headed by Manipur Governor Anusuiya Uikey.
“ … bringing the situation under control by imposing President’s rule, providing fresh impetus to the peace process headed by the Governor, and ensuring effective rehabilitation and resettlement of the displaced persons to their original places of inhabitance with safety and security,” Chakma said.
RRAG said at least 120 persons have been killed so far while around 70,000 people have been displaced including 50,698 persons in relief camps in Manipur, over 12,000 persons who fled to Mizoram, 3,000 persons who fled to Assam, and over 1,000 people who fled to Meghalaya while thousands of the displaced have not sought shelter in relief camps.
“The Kukis who have fled to other States have been facing opposition to settlement from local groups such as in Meghalaya. With little improvement of the situation in Manipur as reflected from the killing of 10 persons on July 2, there is little possibility for the return of the majority displaced persons to their original homes.” Chakma said.
Moreover, he said the destabilisation of the North East’s regional peace and security by the riots in Manipur is unprecedented in the history of the North East as the arming of over 3,000 civilians with alleged looting of over 4,000 weapons and five lakhs (5,00,000) ammunitions.
“There has not been any accountability for looting of the arms and arming of the civilians, failure to enforce the Suspension of Operations agreements with 23 Underground outfits since August 2008 and failure to bring the situation under control despite the imposition of Article 355 of the Constitution onMay 6 2023,” Chakma said.