Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga concerned about ‘unfortunate’ violence in Manipur

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News Desk

Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga on Thursday wrote to his Manipur counterpart N. Biren Singh on how “deeply pained” he was with the “violence that has flared up in parts” of the neighbouring state.

Mizoram is keeping a close watch on the “unfortunate incidents” in Manipur.

Zoramthanga, who spoke to Singh and Union home minister Amit Shah during the day, in his letter touched upon the “underlying tension between the Meitei community and tribals” in Manipur and urged his Manipur counterpart to “exercise the kind of leadership that the people of your own state know you are capable of and reach out to all parties involved to try and bring an end to the senseless violence”.

The unrest in Manipur erupted on Wednesday soon after a solidarity march in the hill districts of the state, opposing the demand of the majority Meitei community for inclusion in the ST list.

The hills are inhabited mostly by tribes, including the Nagas and the Kukis, who share the same Zo ancestry as the Mizos and Chin people of coup-hit Myanmar, which shares boundaries with both Manipur and Mizoram.

Following Zoramthanga’s letter, the Mizoram home department also held a meeting on the Manipur situation and Rajya Sabha MP from the state, K. Vanlalvena, formally seeking the intervention of the Union home minister to “solve the ongoing problems” in Manipur. The Mizoram government has also “assured” the Meitei people living in the state of “safety and security” and also called on them to engage in peace-building measures so that normalcy can once again be “restored in the areas affected by the violence in Manipur”.

“The Mizoram home minister is closely monitoring the situation and developments so as to ensure that no untoward incidents occur in the state. In this regard, the Mizoram home commissioner also had a meeting with NGOs, including the All Mizoram Manipuri Association, so there is no fallout or untoward incident in the state, an official told The Telegraph.

Assuring the “highest cooperation” of his government in this regard, Zoramthanga in his letter further said: “At a time when our two states are already facing issues as a result of the political situation in Myanmar and Bangladesh and the lingering effects of Covid-19, including the prospect of a new wave with more and more cases being detected, such violence makes things worse.”

While Mizoram has a government headed by the Mizo National Front (MNF), a constituent of the NDA, Manipur has a BJP-led government. The Mizoram home department said the state government has expressed its deep concern over the recent incidents of violence in Manipur and is also concerned about the “safety and security” of the ethnic Zo tribes as a result of these “unfortunate” incidents.

The home department said Zoramthanga spoke to the Manipur chief minister on Thursday to discuss these “disturbing incidents and acts of violence in Manipur” and the duo “agreed” to work together to address the situation and discussed ways to ensure the “safety and security” of the Zo people and other tribal communities in Manipur” so that peace and harmony can once again prevail.

According to the statement, following the discussions between the two chief ministers, the Mizoram and Manipur governments are expected to issue a joint statement to this effect. Shah spoke with Zoramthanga and assured him that the central paramilitary forces would be deployed if necessary.

While expressing solidarity with the Zo community, the Mizoram government also appealed to all cross sections of society in the state to work towards maintaining peace and to do away with any such elements that may escalate or aggravate the present situation.

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