Congress leader Rahul Gandhi set to embark on a compassionate journey to strife-ridden Manipur

Congress

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s visit to violence-hit Manipur scheduled from June 29 to 30 is poised to make a significant impact. With Manipur reeling from ongoing ethnic violence for nearly two months, Gandhi’s arrival marks a crucial milestone as it will be his first visit to the northeastern state since May 3. The visit, announced by the party’s General Secretary KC Venugopal, aims to address the pressing issues at hand.

During his stay, Rahul Gandhi plans to visit the relief camps established in the state and engage in meaningful interactions with representatives from civil society in Imphal and Churachandpur. The Congress leader’s visit holds a humanitarian significance, as Manipur’s society yearns for healing and a transition from conflict to peace. Venugopal emphasized the need for empathy, stating, “This is a humanitarian tragedy, and it is our responsibility to foster love rather than hate.”

The gravity of the situation has also drawn the attention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who chaired a crucial meeting to assess the Manipur violence.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah provided a detailed briefing to PM Modi, shedding light on the situation and the internal security conditions in the violence-stricken state. Last month, Shah himself visited Manipur, engaging with various segments of society in his endeavor to restore peace in the region.

In response to the crisis, the Central government has approved a relief package of Rs 101.75 crore for the displaced individuals in Manipur, as directed by the Home Minister. However, the Congress president, Mallikarjun Kharge, expressed concern over PM Modi’s silence regarding the Manipur violence. Kharge urged the Prime Minister to take decisive action by dismissing Chief Minister N Biren Singh if he genuinely cares about the state’s well-being. Kharge criticized the BJP-led government, asserting that no amount of “propaganda” can mask its failure in handling the situation.

To address the complexities of the ongoing turmoil, the central government established a peace committee in Manipur, led by Governor Anusuiya Uikey, aimed at facilitating peacebuilding and initiating dialogues between conflicting parties and groups. Additionally, a Commission of Inquiry, headed by former Chief Justice of the Gauhati High Court Ajai Lamba, was formed on June 4 to investigate the recent violence in Manipur. The commission’s mandate includes examining the causes and spread of the violence and riots targeting different communities since May 3.

The Manipur violence originated from clashes that erupted during a rally organized by the All Tribals Students Union (ATSU) in protest against the demand to include Meiteis in the Scheduled Tribe (ST) list. The ensuing turmoil has claimed the lives of more than 100 individuals, primarily from the Meitei and Kuki communities, who constitute significant portions of Manipur’s population. While the Meiteis make up around 53 percent of the population and primarily reside in the Imphal Valley, the Nagas and Kukis, constituting approximately 40 percent, predominantly inhabit the hill districts.

Rahul Gandhi’s visit to Manipur holds the promise of offering solace and hope to the violence-stricken region, as efforts intensify to restore peace and harmony among its diverse communities.

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