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Manipur tribal MLAs, civil society organisations shun talks with state government

Sources say holding of meeting in Aizawl implies 'lack of faith' of participants in incumbent Manipur government

Umanand Jaiswal Guwahati Published 20.05.23, 04:26 AM
Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh.

Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh. PTI file picture

A meeting held between tribal MLAs belonging to the Chin-Kuki-Mizo-Zomi-Hmar communities and leading civil society organisations in violence-hit Manipur has “resolved not to engage in any dialogue" with the present BJP-led government in the state.

The meeting, according to a statement issued by the delegates who took part in the consultations, was held at the Aijal Club in Mizoram capital Aizwal on Wednesday.


The statement said the meeting was attended by “all 10 tribal MLAs, Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF), Kuki Inpi Manipur (KIM), Zomi Council, Hmar Inpui (HI) and other civil society organisations (CSOs) from Manipur”.

Seven of the MLAs are from the ruling BJP. The other three are also supporting the government, reflecting the unease within the party over the violence.

The 10 MLAs do not include anyone from the Naga community.

Manipur has a 60-member Assembly and 55 MLAs are supporting the government.

Besides unanimously resolving not to talk to the incumbent government, the meeting decided to “stand unitedly to face the present communal crisis” in Manipur.

The holding of the meeting in Aizawl and not Manipur, sources said, implies the “lack of faith” of the participants in the incumbent Manipur government.

They cited the joint memorandum of the 10 MLAs from the Chin-Kuki-Mizo-Zomi-Hmar communities to Union home minister Amit Shah on May 15 to substantiate their claim.

The memorandum, demanding “separation from the state of Manipur” had stated: “Our people have lost faith in the Manipur government and can no longer imagine resettling in the valley where their lives are no longer safe. The Meiteis hate us and do not respect us.

“The need now is a formalisation of the separation through the setting up of separation of the administration of the hills inhabited by our people. We cannot live together any more.”

On May 12, the Kuki MLAs had in their first statement claimed the “unabated” violence that began on May 3 was “perpetrated” by the majority Meiteis “tacitly” supported by the “existing” state government.

However, Shah had assured a delegation led by Manipur chief minister N. Biren Singh in Delhi on Sunday that the "unity and integrity” of the northeastern state would not be affected at any cost.

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