Manipur Chief Minister N Biren on Sunday admitted that the present unrest in the state is due to security and intelligence lapses of the state government and stated that the government is ready to take all the blame.
Biren made the statement during the observance of Anti-Terrorism Day 2023 held at the Conference Hall of Old Secretariat in Imphal.
"When the government tries to enforce the law and order such as the destruction of poppy cultivation, there’s always resistance and acceptance. And it is the duty of the government to expedite the issue. So, the government is responsible for the ongoing unrest," the chief minister said.
The chief minister appealed to the public to take the issue as a consequence of the state government’s failure to redress the grievances of certain sections and not as a communal issue.
"Please don't blame one other. Blame the state government," he said.
With regards to the sheltering of many displaced people in the neighbouring state of Mizoram, Biren said it is sad to hear that the people of Manipur are leaving their own state and are taking temporary shelter in Mizoram.
To bring them back to Manipur, Biren stressed the need of a joint initiative by the government and missionaries to provide them a safe location in Manipur.
He also informed that the government is ready to bear the ticket fares for their return to Manipur.
Biren also informed that the government has not pushed out those 10 MLAs who demanded separate administration. "We are still family," he said.
Maintaining that the state has begun to witness normalcy, he informed that adequate paramilitary forces have been deployed in vulnerable areas.
Moreover, efforts are being made to ensure that the SoO groups stay confined in their designated camps, the chief minister said.
In addition, the report of various rescue operations by local cubs and CSOs show that humanity still exists, though anger confined everyone in the initial days of the outbreak of the crisis, he added.
Recalling the fine days of the Sangai Festival, G-20 and others where integrity of the 35 tribes and two-three others was the unique symbol of pride of Manipur, the chief minister called upon all sections, stakeholders and CSOs for their participation in restoring the same normalcy which was maintained during the fine days.
"If we all stay united no one can interfere in the integrity of Manipur," Biren added.
The observance which was attended by ministers, MLAs and high ranking officials of the state government also took a collective Anti-Terrorism Pledge which was administered by the chief minister while a one-minute silence was also observed, showing solidarity to all the victims of the present crisis.