IMPHAL: Amidst mounting tensions in Manipur, ten MLAs representing the Chin-Kuki-Mizo-Zomi-Hmar communities have written a formal letter to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, urging the re-imposition of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in the valley. The letter, dated 21st January 2024, outlines the concerns of the legislators regarding recent developments in the state's political landscape.
The MLAs express discontent over a resolution passed by the 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly, excluding Kuki-Zomi-Hmar representatives, which they claim undermines the ongoing political discourse between the Suspension of Operation (SoO) Group and the State and Central Government. They describe this move as a "sinister ploy" to tarnish the image of the SoO groups.
A focal point in the letter is the alleged continued presence and reinforcement of Meitei personnel among the State Commando Forces in the Kuki-Zo border town of Moreh. The legislators claim that suspected Meitei militias embedded within the commando units are responsible for the escalating violence in the region.
The MLAs propose a solution, asserting that peace can be restored by withdrawing all Meitei personnel from the State Forces in Moreh and deploying Tribal Police Officers and Personnel, as is already implemented in Churachandpur and Kangpokpi Districts.
Furthermore, the letter highlights ongoing arms looting and violence, attributing it to the presence of Meitei personnel. To address this, the MLAs request the re-introduction of AFSPA in the Manipur valley, granting full powers to the Assam Rifles and the Indian Army to recover arms looted from the State Police and IRB.
As the situation unfolds, the appeal to Amit Shah underscores the complex dynamics at play in Manipur and the legislators' call for decisive measures to restore peace and stability in the region. The re-imposition of AFSPA remains a contentious issue, raising questions about its efficacy in addressing the root causes of conflict and fostering a sustainable resolution to the ongoing tensions.