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Manipur violence: Cong questions US’ willingness to interfere in India’s internal matters

Manipur violence: Cong questions US’ willingness to interfere in India’s internal matters

New Delhi: Expressing concerns over escalating violence resulting from the ethnic conflict in Manipur, Eric Garcetti, the US Ambassador to India said that his country is ready to assist in the matter if India requested based on humanitarian grounds rather than strategic concerns.

Garcetti underscored that the suffering and loss of life in the ongoing violence should concern people of all nationalities.

However, his statement drew criticism from Congress Member of Parliament, Manish Tewari, who contended that India has historically not appreciated external comments on its internal matters. Tewari drew comparisons to issues faced by the United States, such as gun violence and riots over racism, highlighting that India had not lectured or offered unsolicited advice. He emphasized the need for the US Ambassador to take into account the history of India-US relations.

Tewari further lamented the situation in Manipur as "tragic" and criticized Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not visiting the state and addressing the ongoing violence. He also called for Union Home Minister Amit Shah to visit continuously until normalcy returns and stated that the Congress party intended to raise the issue in Parliament.

Meanwhile, Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh made an announcement that all bunkers constructed by the Meitei and Kuki communities to protect their villages would be dismantled. However, this declaration has raised scepticism within the security establishment as the violence from both sides shows no signs of abating, and people are reluctant to surrender their weapons.

The ethnic conflict between the Meitei and Kuki communities in Manipur began on May 3, triggered by a rally protesting against the demand for Scheduled Tribes' (ST) status for the Meiteis. The clashes between the communities have continued unabated, leading to an alarming situation that requires immediate attention and resolution.

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