NEW DELHI, Aug 18: The number of civilian casualties in insurgency-related violence is highest in Manipur, said the latest report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs.
The Parliamentary Standing Committee led by former Home Minister P Chidambaram had submitted its report in the Rajya Sabha recently. The Committee observes that despite experiencing a decline in the number of incidents, the violent incidents in Manipur accounted for a staggering 54 percent of the total number of violent incidents in the entire Northeastern region during 2017.
Moreover, the number of civilian casualties more than doubled during 2017 as compared to the casualties during 2016. The Committee is perturbed by the fact that the State of Manipur is still affected by the insurgency-related activities, and the number of violent incidents remains quite high. The Committee, therefore, recommends that the Government should intensify the pace of engagement with insurgent groups and hold regular talks with them not only to arrive at a settlement but to also maintain peace in the state.
The Ministry of Home Affairs informed the Committee that Manipur accounted for about 48 percent of total violent incidents during 2016, and around 54 percent of incidents during 2017, in the entire North Eastern region. In 2016, there was a major attack by insurgents on the security forces in Manipur on May 20, in which 6 security personnel were killed. While the number of incidents marginally increased from 229 in 2015 to 233 in 2016, this number declined by 28 percent to 167 in 2017. The number of security forces personnel killed came down from 24 in 2015 to 11 in 2016 and 8 in 2017. However, the casualties of civilians increased substantially from 11 in 2016 to 23 in 2017. Within the state of Manipur, Meitei insurgency accounted for about 62 percent of the insurgency incidents in the state.