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Government sets up committee to facilitate peace in Manipur, MLA sets up dropbox for weapons

Government sets up committee to facilitate peace in Manipur, MLA sets up dropbox for weapons

The Union home ministry announced today that a committee has been established in Manipur, led by the governor, with the aim of promoting peace and facilitating dialogue between different ethnic groups and conflicting parties.

The peace committee comprises the Chief Minister, several ministers, Members of Parliament (MPs), Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs), leaders from various political parties, and representatives from civil society organisations. In addition to politicians and civil society representatives, the committee will also include individuals with backgrounds in civil service, education, literature, art, and social work, and representatives from various ethnic communities.

"The Government of India has constituted 'Peace Committee' in Manipur under the chairpersonship of the governor, Manipur. The members of the committee include the chief minister, a few ministers in the state government, MP, MLAs, and leaders from different political parties," said a statement issued by the home ministry.

It further said that the committee will have the responsibility of promoting peace among the different ethnic groups in the state. Its primary objectives will be to initiate peaceful dialogue and negotiations between conflicting parties and groups. The committee aims to enhance social cohesiveness, foster mutual understanding, and facilitate cordial communication between diverse ethnic groups.

BJP legislator from Imphal East L Susindro Meitei has also set up a drop box to anonymously return weapons snatched from security forces. It is set up outside his home and a large poster says "Please drop your snatched weapons here" both in English and Meitei language. The tagline below says "Feel free to do so". It indicates that no questions will be asked about the possession of weapons.

In early May, during the outbreak of ethnic violence in Manipur, a significant quantity of weapons was stolen from police stations. In response, both Chief Minister N Biren Singh and Union Home Minister Amit Shah have urged individuals to surrender their weapons voluntarily. In an effort to restore peace, the army, paramilitary forces, and state police have been conducting joint combing operations to disarm communities. As part of these operations, security forces successfully recovered a total of 35 weapons and warlike supplies on Friday, said an official statement.

A series of violent clashes erupted in Manipur following a 'Tribal Solidarity March' held on May 3 in the hill districts. The march was organised in protest against the demand by the Meitei community for Scheduled Tribes (ST) status. The Meiteis make up approximately 53% of Manipur's population and primarily reside in the Imphal Valley, while the Nagas and Kukis, who are tribal communities, constitute around 40% of the population and reside in the hill districts.

Since the onset of the ethnic violence over a month ago, nearly 100 individuals have lost their lives, and over 300 people have been injured. Currently, a total of 37,450 individuals are seeking refuge in 272 relief camps.

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TAGS:Manipur issueManipur violence
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