By recognizing the basic rights of citizens in a democratic nation, Chief Minister N Biren Singh reassures Kuki MLAs stating “In a democracy, everyone is entitled to speak freely.”
Kuki MLAs’ Demand For Tribal Districts
Days after Kuki MLAs called for a separate chief secretary and DGP for the Kuki-dominated hills areas, CM N Biren Singh assures everyone’s right to express their opinions freely.
A memorandum was submitted to PM Narendra Modi by ten Kuki MLAs. They demanded the establishment of “posts equivalent to chief secretary and DGP” in five hill districts of the state including Churachandpur, Kangpokpi, Chandel, Tengnoupal, and Pherzawl.
The MLAs’ call for action
According to their memorandum, Kuki-Zo MLAs alleged their inability to perform their duties.
They also demanded ₹ 500 crore from the PM’s relief fund for the reestablishment of the community members who lost their homes and livelihood due to the three-month-long ethnic friction in the state.
Chief Minister N Biren Singh’s Stand
Addressing the concerns, in his Independence Day speech, Chief Minister N Biren Singh highlighted the unfortunate events caused by misunderstandings, vested interest actions and foreign plots to destabilize the nation.
He proposed halting the violence to bounce back to the rapid progress the state had witnessed earlier.
The Cause of Ethnic Clashes
On May 3, ethnic rifts erupted in Manipur post a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ organized to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status. Meiteis, who account for about 53% of Manipur’s population, primarily live in the Imphal Valley, while Tribals – Nagas and Kukis – constitute a little over 40% and dwell in the hill districts.
It remains to be seen how this noble appeal from Manipur’s CM will translate into concrete action on the ground. Will peace be restored and will we see an end to the violence harming this beautiful northeastern state of India? Only time will tell.