Imphal: Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge, while referring to the reported recent physical assault of the party's Manipur unit chief by the cadrs of the radical Meitei group 'Arambai Tenggol', urged Union Home Minister Amit Shah to take urgent action to ensure that democracy and rule of law prevail in the state.
In his letter to Shah, Kharge said a meeting was convened of the ministers, MPs and MLAs in the historical Kangla Fort in Imphal with heavy presence of Central and state security forces.
"Many members present at the meeting were compelled and coerced to attend it by an armed group. Not only that, Keisham Meghachandra Singh, the Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee President who is an MLA from the Wangkhem constituency, was brutally assaulted and tortured during the meeting," Kharge said.
He said that so far, no action has been taken by the Manipur Chief Minister or the Home Ministry in this matter.
"It is shameful that the Prime Minister's eloquent silence when it comes to Manipur seems to be the prevailing strategy from all important stakeholders in both the state and the Centre," the letter read.
Referring to his visit to Manipur during the launch of Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra on January 14, and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's visit in June last year, Kharge said the Manipuri society remains bitterly divided and no concrete steps have been taken towards peace, relief and justice for those still suffering from the aftermath of the violence in the state that broke out on May 3 last year.
"All these events point to a complete collapse of the administration in Manipur. The continuing silence and inaction of the Prime Minister is an injustice to the people of Manipur," the Congress leader stated.
Congress General Secretary Jairam Ramesh said earlier in a post on X: "The Indian National Congress strongly condemns the brutal physical assault on Manipur PCC President K. Meghachandra in a meeting of all-party MLAs/MPs/Ministers, under full security protection of state and central forces at Kangla in Imphal. The PM, however, continues with his eloquent silence on the enormous tragedy that has overtaken Manipur."
On January 24, Union Minister of State for External Affairs and Education, Rajkumar Ranjan Singh, Rajya Sabha member Leishemba Sanajaoba, and all 37 Meitei community MLAs, including ministers and opposition legislators, signed a resolution, including six charters of demands put forth by the Arambai Tenngol.
Five Congress MLAs, including former Chief Minister and veteran party leader Okram Ibobi Singh and the state Congress President, also attended the meeting with top leaders of the Arambai Tenngol, presided over by the group supremo Korounganba Khuman.
While Chief Minister N. Biren Singh did not physically attend the meeting, he signed the resolution paper, as per sources.
The demands include abrogation of the Suspension of Operation (SoO) signed between the Central and state governments and 23 Kuki militant outfits in 2008, implementation of National Register of Citizens (NRC), replacement of Assam Rifles with other Central forces, removal of illegal Kuki immigrants from the Scheduled Tribes list, relocating all Myanmarese refugees to Mizoram, and border fencing along the India-Myanmar border.
Unprecedented security measures were taken with the deployment of the huge contingent of central paramilitary and state security forces around the Kangla Fort, which served as the royal seat of the Manipur Kingdom till 1891. (IANS)