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How much Home Minister understand the conflict in Manipur?

by Rinku Khumukcham
0 comment 2 minutes read
How much Home Minister understand the conflict in Manipur?

During a press briefing, Chief Minister Biren Singh shared insights from his meeting with Home Minister Amit Shah, emphasizing the Home Minister’s understanding that Manipur faces internal security threats and demographic changes. In response, the central government proposed two solutions: the cancellation of the Free Movement Regime and the implementation of the Inner Line Permit with 1961 as the base year.
FMR has been discussed much before the Kangla resolution has been signed by the lawmakers. Similar, keeping the base year as 1961 has been agreed by the Cabinet. The question now comes why there was no mention of the six-point Kangla Resolution.
The Six Points Kangla Resolution articulates Manipur’s regional aspirations, encompassing key demands addressing crucial issues. These demands include implementing the NRC with 1951 as the base year, deporting illegal immigrants identified through NRC updates to their native places, and terminating the Suspension of Operation (SoO) agreement with Kuki militant groups. The resolution also calls for action against these groups, relocating Myanmar refugees to Mizoram, fencing the Manipur-Myanmar border, substituting Assam Rifles with other paramilitary forces, and excluding illegal Kuki immigrants from the Scheduled Tribes list. Notably, the resolution avoids contentious issues like the Scheduled Tribe (ST) demand and the rehabilitation of Meiteis expelled from hill districts. Implicitly, it suggests that once core demands are met, other considerations can be addressed later.
Some demands in the resolution have been previously discussed and partially addressed by the Manipur government. Legal complexities arise from the constitutional legality of SoO agreements, involving state entities engaging with armed groups fighting against other tribes. The central issue lies in engaging with these groups politically, with the SoO seen as the heart of the crisis. Despite challenges, there is popular demand for revoking SoO, and indications from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) envoy suggest Home Minister Shah’s inclination towards this. Revoking the SoO agreement and replacing Assam Rifles could be challenging, but political dynamics are unpredictable. If the SoO is abrogated, Assam Rifles might have to take a different approach towards Kuki militants.
These issues are their own major problems even though FMR was the root cause of the problems. The MLAs, Minister and CSOs seem to be urging the central government, as these demands are considered as positively viewed by the centre. Recognizing the urgency, there is a call for an assembly sitting to assert pressure, signaling the seriousness of Manipur’s demands. Challenges may arise in the State Legislative Assembly, especially regarding the status and involvement of Kuki MLAs and potential opposition from Naga MLAs.
However, nothing on these matters from the CM and the Home Minister comes. So, it is quite questionable how much Amit Shah has understood the problems.

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