Social activist RK Sanayaima (Meghen) has questioned how a mass rally was given government clearance in the hill districts on the same day as the vice-president’s visit to Manipur. He stated that the whole outbreak of violence could have been avoided if proper security measures had been put in place.
Speaking to the media at Sagolband, Imphal, Meghen expressed disappointment over the failure of the authorities concerned to take proper security measures on May 3.
“It is a pertaining question whether there were security lapses and utter negligence from authorities in connection with vice-president; from a security standpoint the whole security measures was doomed from the start,” he said.
He questioned what the intelligence team in-charge of VP’s visit was doing during the security preparation and the outbreak of violence.
“Definitely, there must have been intelligence input of the rally; it is their duty to ascertain if the rally had potential to turn violent, but if such information were not relayed then the intelligence and security team had failed to dispense their duty properly,” he added.
He reiterated that the whole conflict could have been avoided if authorities concerned had taken stringent security measures and kept an eye out for potential threats.
Meghen further stated that in recent history the current Meitei-Kuki clash is among the most violent communal feud which had occurred in the state.
He continued that differences in political ideology had triggered several communities in Manipur to fend for themselves which had resulted in spurt of exclusive demands.
“The question of survival is the primary fuel which feeds these exclusive demands; communities have been boxed into corners and made to pick principles and ideologies which benefits their own,” he said.
He mentioned that both the Kuki and Meitei community had put forth several exclusive demands which had resulted from differences in ideology.
He further continued that such differences in opinion had led to the polarization of the Meitei and Manipur tribal community. Such polarization can be dismantled if people of all communities work create an inclusive narrative, he added.
“The ST demand of the Meitei has roots in how the community has been boxed into the valley and is currently facing a demographic battle, this is the reality,” he said.
He highlighted that certain groups had posed the ST demand as the Meiteis are on the brink of becoming a minority in the state.
He maintained that all groups and communities have the right to make demands which benefits their own but infringing on others’ rights in the process should be avoided.
“The government regulations and mechanisms have failed to protect the people; no laws and guidelines are properly implemented,” he added.
He called upon all communities in the state to collectively strive and find an inclusive middle ground which will not batter the cordial relations and strengthen the affable narrative.
Meghen stated that ethno centric political ideology sparked the conflict between the Meitei and Kukis. As such, he reiterated the need to create an inclusive solution swiftly.
He pointed out that people needed to put this conflict behind and move forward with renewed zeal and determination to create a stronger Manipur.
He highlighted that respecting other cultures, maintaining status quo of co-dependence among the communities and creating a democratic system which gives autonomy at every branches of the system would be the vital ingredients in formulating lasting solutions.
He further maintained that people to introspect and investigate the source of the conflict and derive to factual understanding of the whole outbreak. “We need properly ascertain whether certain people with vested interests had triggered the violence,” he added.
Stating that vandalism of religious places during the outburst of violence was unforgivable, he maintained that he extended condolences to the families who lost their loved ones in the conflict. He further appealed to people not to act on unverified rumours and preach the message of peace, love and positivity.