Imphal: In a significant development in Manipur, the Meitei civil society body, Arambai Tenggol, orchestrated a massive public meeting on January 24 in the capital city, Imphal. The event witnessed the presence of 37 legislators, including Chief Minister N Biren Singh, all ministers, and two MPs. The gathering was a response to the prolonged violence that Manipur has endured over the past eight months.
Thousands of youths, clad in distinctive combat uniforms, joined forces with women’s groups, students, and citizens, rallying together to echo chants for Manipur’s unity and resilience against disintegration. Against the backdrop of the Kangla Utra temple, a video circulating on social media captured a poignant moment when MLAs and ministers took an oath, symbolising their commitment to the people.
Arambai Tenggol’s chief emphasised that the objective of the meeting was to remind elected members of their responsibility to fulfill the wishes of the populace. Addressing the crowd, the leader announced that the Union Home Minister had assured measures to control Kuki militants under Suspension of Operation (SoO), contributing to restoring peace in the state.
During the meeting, Arambai Tenggol outlined their demands, which include the implementation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) with 1951 as the base year, abrogation of the SoO agreement with Kuki militants, deportation of all Myanmarese refugees, border fencing, and removal of illegal Kuki immigrants from the Scheduled Tribe list.
Chief of Arambai Tenggol, Korounganba Khuman, disclosed that Cabinet Ministers and opposition party leaders, including Chief Minister N Biren Singh, have reached a six-point agreement. They collectively signed and set a 15-day deadline for the implementation of all six points.
This development holds crucial significance in the context of Manipur’s socio-political landscape, addressing key issues such as violence, refugee concerns, and border security. The commitment of elected representatives to these demands marks a potential turning point in the pursuit of peace and stability in the region.
Over the past 8 months, the unrest has claimed the lives of more than 190 individuals, with over 60,000 facing internal displacement. The rift, which commenced on May 3, 2023, has left hundreds missing, intensifying the gravity of the situation. Notably, the border town of Moreh has transformed into a hotspot, witnessing a series of attacks by militants along the Myanmar border. In the past 15 days, Kuki militants have targeted Manipur police commando and paramilitary forces, resulting in casualties. Tragically, over six Meitei individuals lost their lives in these attacks. Responding to the escalating tensions, the Union Government has deployed additional forces and aerial assets for border surveillance, underscoring the severity of the security situation. This volatile backdrop underscores the urgency for the elected representatives’ commitment to the 6 Points of Agreement, as articulated by Arambai Tenggol, in their quest for restoring peace and stability in Manipur.