New Delhi: Posters, banners and messages come up in Manipur on Monday welcoming Union Home Minister Amit Shah on his four-day visit during which he will meet stake-holders to assess the situation and take steps to restore normalcy to the state that witnessed ethnic violence over the past few weeks.
The messages have come from both Meities and Kuki communities which have been in the news after the recent spate of violence.
While the posters and banners were seen in Imphal and several other districts, the welcome messages were issued by several civil society organisations of Manipur, sources said.
“We have learned that the Hon’ble Union Home Minister of India is arriving in Manipur. In this regard, the Coordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI) considers it as a very positive steps towards restoring peace. COCOMI believes that under his abled leadership the people of Manipur is looking forward to his profound wisdom to restore peace and normalcy in Manipur,” the organisation said.
The United People’s Front and the Kuki National Organisation, which work for the welfare of the Kuki Zo community in Manipur, said the union home minister’s visit is a positive initiative.
“This planned visit has given a sense of security among the Kuki Zo tribe. We look forward to his actions and directions to end this ongoing ethnic clashes between the two communities,” the organisation said.
During his visit, the home minister will hold several rounds of security meetings to assess the situation and plan steps to restore normalcy besides holding a meeting with the Manipur Cabinet, the sources said.
This is Shah’s first visit to the northeastern state since the ethnic clashes broke out on May 3.
The home minister will be in the state from May 29 to June 1. He is reaching Imphal this evening, the sources said.
He is also expected to meet representatives from the civil society and various groups of the Meitei and the Kuki communities.
The ethnic clashes that have claimed more than 75 lives in Manipur broke out after a “Tribal Solidarity March” was organised in the hill districts on May 3 to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe status.
Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Sunday said nearly 40 armed terrorists involved in torching houses and firing at civilians have been killed by security forces since an operation was launched to restore peace in the northeastern state.
The violence was preceded by tension over the eviction of Kuki villagers from reserve forest land, leading to a series of smaller agitations.