Congress demands NIA investigation into Manipur violence; Rahul Gandhi accuses BJP of igniting state with a politics fueled by hatred

Manipur

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi launched a scathing attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) regarding the recent wave of violence in Manipur, alleging that the BJP’s politics of hatred has engulfed the eastern state, resulting in multiple casualties. The Congress party has demanded a thorough investigation by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) into the BJP’s alleged links with “militant organizations” in Manipur. The Congress claims that the BJP colluded with these organizations during elections to secure victory.

Fresh incidents of violence erupted today in Manipur, disrupting the fragile calm that had prevailed since May 3. A press conference held at the Congress party headquarters featured Congress leader Ajoy Kumar, who expressed concern over the deteriorating law and order situation in Manipur. He cited an alarming incident where the house of a BJP-affiliated woman minister was set on fire in Imphal. Kumar criticized Union Home Minister Amit Shah for failing to control the lawlessness in Manipur and questioned his claim of being a strong leader (“Loh Purush”). Despite the loss of nine lives in Manipur, Kumar lamented the lack of substantial discussion on the matter.

Kumar further asserted that the BJP had sought assistance from the United Kuki Liberation Front, a group currently under Suspension of Operation (SOO) agreement with both the federal and state governments, during the elections. He referred to a purported letter written by the chief of the United Kuki Liberation Front, S S Haokip, to Home Minister Amit Shah. The letter supposedly mentioned the front’s support for BJP candidates in various elections and highlighted an “agreement” reached between Haokip, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, and senior BJP leader Ram Madhav. Kumar called for an NIA investigation into the alleged pacts between Sarma, Madhav, and the Kuki militants during the 2017 and 2022 state assembly elections, as well as the 2019 general elections. He raised concerns about the BJP colluding with anti-India elements for electoral gains.

Kumar emphasized the gravity of the situation in Manipur, stating that out of a population of approximately 2.8 million, around 50,000 people have been displaced, rendering them homeless. He criticized Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to prioritize visiting Manipur over his forthcoming visit to the United States, and called for an all-party delegation to address the crisis.

Manipur

Rahul Gandhi, another prominent Congress leader, also lashed out at the BJP, accusing them of propagating a politics of hatred that has engulfed Manipur and resulted in the loss of over a hundred lives during the past 40 days. Gandhi criticized Prime Minister Modi for his silence on the escalating tension in Manipur and demanded the dispatch of an all-party delegation to restore peace and end the cycle of violence. In a tweet, Gandhi urged for a transformation from a “market of hatred” to a “shop of love” in the hearts of Manipuri people.

Jairam Ramesh, Congress general secretary in-charge of communications, met with Manipur leaders in New Delhi, expressing his distress after spending time with them. Ramesh revealed that ten opposition parties from Manipur had sought an appointment with the Prime Minister, hoping to address the ongoing suffering and anguish of the people of Manipur.

The violent clashes in Manipur erupted on May 3 following a “Tribal Solidarity March” organized by the hill districts’ residents to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status. The Meiteis, constituting around 53% of Manipur’s population and primarily residing in the Imphal Valley, clashed with the Nagas and Kukis, who make up about 40% of the population and reside in the hill districts.

The conflict has resulted in more than 100 fatalities and 310 injuries, leading to the deployment of army and paramilitary forces to restore peace in the state.

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