Manipur Clash: Eastern Command Commander Lieutenant General Rana Pratap Kalita has termed the ethnic conflict in Manipur as a ‘political problem’. He said on Tuesday (November 21) that incidents of violence will continue until about 4,000 weapons looted from the security forces are recovered from the common people.
Speaking to reporters at the Guwahati Press Club, Kalita said, “Our effort is to stop the violence and motivate both sides of the conflict for a peaceful solution to the political problem. Because there has to be a political solution to the problem.”
He said that as far as the ground situation was concerned, the objective of the Indian Army was initially to conduct rescue and relief operations for the people displaced from their homes. Kalita said, ‘After this, we have been trying to stop the violence, in which we have been successful to a large extent, but due to polarization between the two communities – Meitei and Kuki, sporadic incidents keep happening here and there.
There was conflict between Kukis and Nagas in the 1990s
Asked why normalcy has not returned to Manipur even after more than six-and-a-half months since the clashes began, he said there are some heritage issues between the three communities living in the state – Meitei, Kuki and Naga. The Lieutenant General said that earlier in the 1990s there had been a conflict between the Kukis and the Nagas, in which about 1,000 people were killed.
Looted more than 5,000 weapons
He said, “What has happened now is that the two communities have become completely polarized. However, the level of violence has reduced. More than 5,000 weapons were looted from various police stations and other places. Of these, only 1,500 weapons were recovered. “So, about 4,000 weapons are still out there. As long as people have these weapons, these types of sporadic violent activities will continue.”
Kalita said that smuggling of drugs as well as weapons through the India-Myanmar border has stopped. However, some isolated incidents may occur. He stressed that since 4,000 weapons are already in the open, I feel there is no need to bring weapons from outside.”
It is noteworthy that in Manipur, more than 180 people have been killed and hundreds of others injured in the ethnic clashes that started after ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organized in the hilly districts in protest against the demand of Meitei community for granting Scheduled Tribe status on May 3. Have become.
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