The present Manipur crisis cannot be termed as a ‘war’ but the state government has been frequently discussing what administrative reforms could be made with various government policies for safeguarding Manipur from external aggression, state Information and Public Relation Minister Sapam Ranjan said.
Ranjan was speaking at a one-day public convention at Moidangpok Maning Leikai Aka Lampak Community hall near Recent Youth Club, Imphal West on Sunday.
During the initial stage of the Manipur crisis, many people placed different narratives such as the crisis is minority vs majority, Hindu vs Christian, etc. However, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) recently declared that the prevailing crisis in Manipur is a war being waged against the Indian Union by external aggressors.
The Manipur state government has been taking various initiatives for safeguarding the territorial boundary and integrity of Manipur including border fencing, and the withdrawal of Free Movement Regime (FMR) where any Indian or Myanmar nationalist can enter both sides of the country upto 16 km without any visa, he said.
To stop the influx of illegal immigrants, the state government had withdrawn the FMR. Moreover, the process for the implementation of the National Register of Citizens will be continuing for the next one year, he added.
He said that as the paddy harvesting season arrives, the state government will be providing adequate security forces along the Kangchup hill range and other adjacent vulnerable areas so that farmers could harvest annual paddy crops without having any fear of facing unwanted violence.
Under the leadership of Chief Minister N Biren Singh and to protect Manipur from drugs, influence of external aggressions, the government started the ‘War on Drugs’ campaign which was followed by eviction of illegal encroachers in protected and reserve forest, he mentioned.
The state government has been monitoring minutely on establishment of new villages, number of villages and others. Against the efforts undertaken by the Manipur government to protect the state, some groups who wanted to disintegrate the state started instigating to cause the eruption of the present crisis by injecting enmity among the communities of Manipur, the IPR minister said.
“We need to remain vigilant and bring economic growth by being healthy both physically and mentally,” Ranjan said.
To stay mentally and physically healthy, IPR minister who is also health minister said the government started giving awareness programmes on mental health to various areas of Manipur including relief camps and vulnerable areas.
A villager who took part in the event expressed that due to the unrest, the normal lives of many people, especially those living in the foothills have been affected. However, people need to cooperate with each other by motivating each other to overcome the issues faced due to the turmoil, he said.
He urged the state government to provide necessary assistance at the time of need and provide adequate security forces especially during harvesting of paddy.
The programme was jointly organised by Village Volunteer Force, Moidangpok and Khoyum Meitei Divine.