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Kharge, Congress leaders meet President Murmu; seek judicial probe into Manipur violence

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Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge along with a delegation of party leaders calls on President Droupadi Murmu, at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on May 30, 2023

Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge along with a delegation of party leaders calls on President Droupadi Murmu, at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on May 30, 2023
| Photo Credit: ANI

The Congress on May 30 alleged there has been “a serious deficit” in the efforts of the BJP government in Manipur to contain “arson and violence” and sought a high-level inquiry commission headed by a serving or retired judge of the Supreme Court into the ethnic violence in the State.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, along with a delegation of party leaders, called on President Droupadi Murmu at Rashtrapati Bhavan and submitted a memorandum. The party said nearly 100 people have died due to ethnic violence and many more have gone missing .”More than 2000 houses have been either burned or destroyed. Some 10000 people, including women and children, are still living in relief camps and safer places without proper health and sanitation facilities. Thousands of people are rendered homeless and displaced. Almost all educational institutions are closed, denying education to students,” the memorandum said. The party made 12 demands including firm and sustained efforts to control violence in every part of the state and immediate restoration of peace, harmony and normalcy.

Also read | Central, State Govt. announce compensation package for those killed in Manipur clashes

“A high-level inquiry commission should be constituted headed by a serving or retired Supreme Court judge. The Union government must immediately take all possible measures to control and confine all militant groups (including those under SoO) and ensure that all armed civilian groups be stopped forthwith by taking appropriate action,” the party said. Congress said that villages near the foothills of both communities must be covered with adequate security so that armed militants do not intrude and disturb peace. “The Union government should take steps for the rehabilitation of all displaced persons at their original place or in safer areas with suitable security arrangements. Payment of dignified and reasonable compensation for loss of life, property, and all other things concerned to all the victims and affected persons,” the party said.

The Congress said that a special drive must be carried out to trace many numbers of missing people.”There is a need for immediate identification of those who have lost their lives and handing their bodies over to the bereaved families for the last rites. A special drive must be carried out to trace many numbers of missing people. A large number of children are living in the relief camps and special arrangements for the education of the students of the displaced families must be made.”

The party said that the State government must immediately take over the management and maintenance of all relief camps and provide proper health and sanitation facilities for all. “Disruption of transportation of goods and essential commodities through the National Highways and district headquarters must be stopped. The letter and spirit of the existing Constitutional provisions related to the state of Manipur must be protected, and the trust between communities should be restored through reconciliation and dialogue,” the party said. The Congress said that thousands of “people dwelling in peripheral areas near hills and valleys are living under fear psychosis and facing sleepless nights”.

“Agricultural land and paddy fields are deserted, with no cultivators in sight before the onset of the monsoon. Daily wage earners are living in extreme agony,” the party said.

The memorandum was submitted on a day Home Minister Amit Shah is in Manipur. The party also addressed a press conference on the situation in Manipur. Party leader Jairam Ramesh lashed out at the Centre and State governments and alleged that the BJP’s “politics of divide and rule” is responsible for the crisis in Manipur. “It’s the RSS/BJP’s politics of divide and rule that is responsible for the current crisis in Manipur. The last time Manipur burned was 22 years ago when BJP was ruling in the Centre. This time things have turned from bad to worse,” Jairam Ramesh said in a tweet.

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