Unabated Violence in Manipur: Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge Criticizes BJP’s ‘Double Engine’ Government

In a scathing critique of the government’s handling of the situation in Manipur, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge lashed out at the BJP’s ‘double engine’ government, accusing it of delivering several blows to the people of Manipur.

The Human Toll

Kharge expressed dismay over the nine months of unabated violence that has claimed more than 200 lives and displaced 60,000 people since May 4, 2023. He raised concerns about the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s apparent lack of attention to the crisis, highlighting that Modi hasn’t visited Manipur in nine months, leaving the affected population to fend for themselves.

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Kharge emphasized the devastating impact of the ongoing violence, with over 50,000 people enduring despicable conditions in relief camps, lacking adequate medical facilities and food. Many have lost their homes, livelihoods, and belongings, facing a bleak future. Disturbingly, reports suggest that over 80 people have died in camps in Churachandpur alone due to trauma, malnutrition, and illness. The situation in the Imphal camps is no better, further exacerbating the humanitarian crisis.

Congress’s Charge

Kharge accused the BJP-led state government of showing complete apathy and neglect towards the suffering population, asserting that the relief efforts in camps were driven by the collective efforts of good Samaritans and NGOs rather than the government. He highlighted the dire conditions faced by women and children, blaming the BJP for their plight.

Escalation of Violence

Pointing to the escalating violence, Kharge cited instances of police trainees from different communities shooting at each other since January 1. He highlighted a particularly distressing incident on January 24, where an armed group coerced MPs/MLAs to attend a meeting at the heavily guarded Kangla Fort. During the meeting, Manipur Congress president was allegedly brutally assaulted and tortured, further intensifying the turmoil in the region.

Broken Promises

Kharge criticized Prime Minister Modi’s assurances to the people of Manipur in August 2023, stating that they now ring hollow. He argued that despite the promises made in Parliament, there is still no semblance of normalcy and peace in sight for the beleaguered population.

Government’s Total Silence

The Congress leader also lamented the prime minister’s “total silence” on the situation in Manipur, asserting that it amounts to a “horrific injustice” to the people of the state. This criticism came a day after Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh met Home Minister Amit Shah, raising questions about the efficacy of the government’s response to the crisis.


Roots of the Conflict in Manipur

The ethnic violence in Manipur erupted on May 3, 2023, following a tribal solidarity march organized in the hill districts to protest against the majority Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe status. The demands and counter-demands have led to a complex situation, with a section of Kukis seeking a separate administration or separation from the Manipur government, while Meitei groups vehemently oppose such moves.

Demographic Landscape

Manipur’s demographic landscape further complicates the situation. Meiteis constitute about 53 percent of the population and predominantly reside in the Imphal Valley. On the other hand, tribals, including Nagas and Kukis, make up 40 percent of the population and are mainly concentrated in the hill districts. The remaining percentage belongs to various other communities, creating a delicate balance that has been disrupted by the ongoing violence.

Mallikarjun Kharge’s critique sheds light on the dire humanitarian situation in Manipur and the alleged failure of the BJP’s ‘double engine’ government to address the crisis effectively. The prolonged violence, displacement, and loss of life have created a complex socio-political landscape that demands immediate attention and comprehensive solutions. As the situation unfolds, it remains to be seen how the government will respond to the pressing needs of the people in Manipur and work towards restoring peace and stability in the region.

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