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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Amit Shah’s Mission: Restore Peace in Manipur

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In a high-level meeting, two days ago, chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah with key officials to review the security situation around the Manipur conflict amidst reports of fresh incidents of violence, the Centre laid out a detailed strategy to address the escalating crisis in Manipur.

In a move signaling the mood of the Centre, in particular, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Manipur’s Chief Minister was kept out of this meeting held in New Delhi. The mood at the Centre is tilted towards a reorganization in the position of leaders in Manipur.

Centre’s ire with some leaders in the Manipur government, including the CM, is due to the failure to control the violence in Manipur and resolve the conflict. Intelligence inputs indicate some leaders’ closeness to questionable groups in Manipur responsible for fanning the communal and ethnic fires, and who are also behind extortions from the people of Manipur as protection money.

Whether the angst of the Centre against some leaders in Manipur is a result of the poor performance in the recent Lok Sabha 2024 where BJP did not win a single seat in the state, as some critics of the government opine, is really in the realm of speculation but, certainly, Centre is now aggressively and assertively working on resolving the Manipur conflict in a firm and decisive manner. They have decided to dump the wait-and-watch approach and act proactively.

At that meeting seven major points were emphasized, reflecting a comprehensive approach to restoring peace, ensuring security, and fostering dialogue. These measures reflect the government’s commitment to resolving the issues with a balanced and comprehensive approach.

1. No Violence Henceforth:

A central directive from the meeting is the immediate cessation of all forms of violence in Manipur. This mandate emphasizes a zero-tolerance policy towards violence, reflecting the government’s determination to restore law and order. Security forces have been instructed to enforce this directive strictly, ensuring the protection and safety of all residents.

2. Feedback on Displaced People and the Relief Provided to Them:

The well-being of displaced individuals is a major concern. The Centre has called for detailed feedback on the number of displaced people and the status of relief efforts. This information is crucial for assessing the effectiveness of current aid programs and addressing any shortcomings to ensure comprehensive support for all displaced persons.

3. 100% Recovery of Looted Arms:

The recovery of looted arms is a critical security measure. The Centre has mandated a 100% recovery rate to prevent these weapons from being used in further violence. This directive aims to disarm unauthorized individuals and groups, significantly reducing the risk to public safety and aiding in the stabilization of the region. The assigned authorities have been tasked with recovering the looted weapons within the next 60-days on a war-footing.

4. Report on Additional Warlike Stores Acquired by SoO Groups:

The meeting highlighted the need for vigilance regarding the acquisition of warlike stores by Suspension of Operations (SoO) groups. A detailed report has been requested to monitor and regulate these activities, ensuring that SoO groups adhere to peace agreements and do not stockpile weapons that could threaten stability.

5. Control on Extortion and Pressure from Meitei and Kuki Groups:

Addressing the issue of extortion and coercion by nefarious armed Meitei and Kuki groups is a priority. The Centre has emphasized the need for stringent measures to curb these illegal activities. Law enforcement agencies have been tasked with cracking down on extortion rackets to protect local businesses and residents from undue pressure and financial exploitation.

6. Joint Talks with CSOs of Both Groups:

Promoting dialogue between conflicting parties is seen as a key to resolving the crisis. The government has proposed joint talks with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) representing all groups involved in the conflict. This inclusive approach aims to bridge divides, foster mutual understanding, and develop a consensus-driven roadmap for peace.

7. Complete Stop on Cross Border Activities:

The issue of cross-border activities, including smuggling and unauthorized movement, has been addressed with a directive for a complete halt. Strengthening border security and surveillance is essential to prevent the influx of arms, narcotics, and insurgents, which contribute to the instability in Manipur.

The strategic decisions taken in this meeting underscore a multifaceted approach to tackling the complex issues in Manipur. By addressing immediate security concerns, ensuring the well-being of displaced persons, and fostering dialogue among conflicting parties, the Centre aims to pave the way for lasting peace and stability in the region. The effective implementation of these measures, coupled with the cooperation of local stakeholders, will be crucial in achieving the desired outcomes.

Modi has tasked Amit Shah with one mission, restore peace in Manipur. Now the Centre will be handling the core operations of conflict resolution in the state. Most, importantly, the Centre has also kept NSG Commandos on ready alert to deal with the terror groups and their key leaders if trouble escalates.

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