General officer commanding-in-chief (GOC-in-C) of the Indian Army's Eastern Command, R.P. Kalita, and security adviser to Manipur chief minister, Kuldip Singh, visited Churachandpur on Tuesday to take stock of the ground situation and hold discussions with locals to ensure peace.
They were greeted by the locals with placards, banners and slogans demanding “separate administration for their survival”.
The visit of the two senior officials assumes importance because no central minister or leader has visited the state or Kuki-majority Churchandpur, one of the affected districts, since violence erupted on May 3.
Clashes between Meiteis, mostly living in the valley and Kukis, mostly living in the hills, have left about 74 dead and affected 45,000.
The women members of the Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF) had staged peaceful sit-ins at four places in Churchandpur to convey their protest against the BJP-led state government and reiterate their demand for a separate administration.
ITLF leader P. Haokip told The Telegraph that the GOC and the security adviser held separate back-to-back discussions with the civil society organisations.
The ITLF, he said, had conveyed to the two officials that "unless there is separation of administration, one cannot expect lasting peace in the state".
Manipur remained tense but calm on Tuesday. Business establishments remained closed on Tuesday morning and people were asked by security personnel to remain indoors, adds PTI.