Manipur violence: ITLF delegation meets Amit Shah to discuss demandstext_fields
New Delhi: A delegation of the Indigenous Tribal Leaders Forum (ITLF) from Manipur, which represents the Kuki-Zo community, met Union Home Minister Amit Shah here on Wednesday to discuss their demands to restore peace in Manipur, amid the simmering unrest in the northeastern state.
"The meeting was held as a follow-up of the appeal issued by the Central government on August 3 to amicably resolve the issue of burial of the mortal remains of the victims of ethnic violence in Manipur," the ITLF said in a statement.
“The ITLS had decided to bury 35 martyrs of the violence but the Home Minister asked to defer the burial for 7 more days, assuring us that they will solve the issue,” said Ginza Vualzong, spokesperson of the ITLF.
"On the request of the ITLF leaders, the land of the Industry Department at Government Sericulture Farm may be allotted for the burial of the mortal remains, the Home Minister assured. The said land will only be utilised for a common public purpose in consultation with ITLF and other stakeholders," it said.
"The Gol requested the delegation not to insist on carrying out the burial program at the same venue, which falls within the conflict zone and identify an alternate location in consultation with DC Churachandpur and perform the burial at the earliest. The delegation assured that in view of the request by the Home Minister, they will finalise an alternate location in consultation with the people," the statement said.
During the meeting, the ITLF also presented the Home Minister with a list of 10 demands including the safety and security of the residents of the hills in Manipur, deployment of the forces to strengthen vulnerable gap areas, arrangements for the transportation and identification of dead bodies, helicopter services for residents of Churachandpur, Kangpokpi and Moreh areas, Transfer of Medical, technical and other students who can’t study due to the ethnic violence to universities and colleges in other states, and regular monitoring of the condition of the prison inmates, among others.
ITLF said another demand presented to Shah during the meeting was to not let the state police forces, specifically the Meitei commandos, operate in the hills.
During the meeting, Shah assured that the deployment of the Central forces in the state will be further strengthened and reoriented to plug vulnerable gap areas, the statement said.
The Home Minister also assured that necessary arrangements will also be made to facilitate transportation and identification of dead bodies, it claimed.
Meanwhile, a representation undersigned by 40 people including several MLAs from Manipur was submitted to the Prime Minister's Office, demanding a lasting solution.
"The withdrawal of the Suspension of Operations (SOO) Agreement with all those who have violated the ground rules at the earliest is recommended. There has been large-scale foreign infiltration with arms and ammunition into the state. The source and funding of these sophisticated arms and ammunition needs to be investigated, keeping in view of how the conflict has lasted for the past three months, and the arms continue to arrive into the state," read the representation.
It added: "The issue must be addressed politically in order to resolve this crisis of conflict. There are many options that can be explored. On one hand, to reassure the indigenous people of Manipur, the National Register of Citizens (NRC) can be implemented in Manipur, sooner rather than later."
Ethnic clashes erupted in Manipur on May 3 and since then hundreds of people have lost their lives while thousands have been forced to take refuge in the relief camps.