The Congress is sending a three-member fact-finding team to Manipur to “ascertain the causes of the widespread violence” that erupted in the northeastern state on May 3.
The team was constituted by Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Wednesday, a day after the seven-member Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) delegation met him and Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi to apprise them about the prevailing turmoil in the state.
The team includes All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary Mukul Wasnik, AICC in-charge of Sikkim, Nagaland and Tripura Ajoy Kumar and senior Tripura MLA Sudip Roy Barman.
The team has been asked to coordinate with AICC in-charge of Manipur, Bhakta Charan Das, Manipur PCC president K. Meghachandra and CLP leader Okram Ibobi Singh, a former state chief minister.
Barman told The Telegraph that the team will reach Imphal on Thursday. “I will fly from Calcutta and the other two members from Delhi,” he said.
Stray untoward incidents are still being reported despite the heavy deployment of security forces in the state. The NH-2 leading to Imphal remains blocked in Kangpokpi district.
The Congress team will be the first from outside to visit the state since the unrest began on May 3 following a solidarity march in the state’s 10 hill districts opposing the ST demand of the majority Meitei community, which mostly inhabit the six valley districts.
Sources said only A.K. Mishra, the Centre’s interlocutor for rebel groups under suspension of operations (SoO), has visited the state but the Centre has deployed the army and paramilitary forces in the immediate aftermath of the violence to control the situation.
G20 CWG meet finds 4 priority areas
The four-day G20 second Culture Working Group (CWG) meeting concluded here on Wednesday, with a focus on four key priority areas — protection and restitution of cultural property; harnessing living heritage for a sustainable future; promotion of cultural and creative industries and creative economy; and leveraging digital technologies for the protection and promotion of culture.
At present, India holds the presidency of the G20.
The delegates witnessed the Kalingan architecture by visiting the ancient temples of Odisha.
Union minister of state for culture and external affairs Meenakashi Lekhi in her address outlined details and the timeline concerning the working process of the CWG going forward. Underlining the cohesive nature of culture, she said: “Culture can be a way of engagement to bring everyone together, especially at a time when a lot of stress and strain are showing up.”