Imphal, June 20:
In the face of an enduring clash between the Meitei and Kuki communities, Manipur finds itself in a state of tension for over 45 days. Today, the consequences of this protracted conflict reverberate through the state as the annual royal Rath Yatra procession, an eagerly anticipated and grand tradition celebrated with fervor, comes to an unexpected halt.
Despite the prevailing circumstances, essential rituals associated with the Hindu festival are persevering in a subdued ambiance. At the iconic Shree Shree Govindajee Temple located within the Palace Compound, as well as various other locations across the state, devotees quietly observe these integral customs.
Expressing the rationale behind this decision, Gurumayum Nabaroobadip Sharma, Vebhastha Kari of the Shree Shree Govindajee Temple Board, emphasized the need to prioritize the prevailing situation. He stated, “Given the current clash between the Kuki and Meitei communities, which has tragically resulted in over 100 deaths, we have made the difficult choice to refrain from organizing the annual royal Rath Yatra (Kang) procession.”
Sharma further appealed to all communities within Manipur to abstain from resorting to violence, emphasizing that such unrest would yield no positive outcomes. Recognizing the futility of conflict, he urged for unity and peaceful coexistence among the diverse communities inhabiting the region.
Meanwhile, Manipur’s Chief Minister, N Biren Singh, issued a heartfelt appeal to the Kuki militants observing a ceasefire and to the Meitei individuals who possess arms, urging them to renounce violence and work towards restoring peace in the state. However, despite these efforts, a ray of hope for peace in Manipur remains elusive, as both the State and Union Government struggle to contain the raging fire that has consumed the region for over 45 days. The road to reconciliation and harmony in Manipur still lies ahead, demanding concerted actions and collaborative endeavors from all stakeholders involved.