Manipur Chief Minister N Biren on Tuesday sought the support of the public in maintaining the bond of 34 different ethnic groups in Manipur to restore peace and secure the future of Manipur.
He made the appeal during the foundation stone-laying ceremony for the projects of Ima Market, a football ground with natural grass, and road improvement in and around Keithelmanbi, Tumukhong, and Moirangpurel in Andro AC, Imphal East.
CM Biren stated that the government will not entertain any new tribe other than the already recognised 34 ethnic groups, and it will take action against poppy cultivation and forest destruction.
Emphasising on the root cause of the ongoing crisis he asserted that the root cause is deeply rooted and did not start on May 3.
He attributed it to illegal immigrants and drug lords involved in mass poppy cultivation and forest destruction, which the state government will not compromised on.
Acknowledging NIA’s recognition of the crisis as a conspiracy by Myanmar and Bangladesh-based militant groups to wage war against India Biren said, the central government has a clear understanding of the situation in Manipur.
He also cited the Centre’s order to the state government to identify illegal immigrants soon after the crisis outbreak, which has been extended for another year at the state government’s request.
Biren further emphasised that the ongoing conflict is not only a “war” but also an “environmental and ecological war” and reaffirmed that both the state and central governments are facing it.
He contended that the present government is committed to saving Manipur and preserving its future, citing the implementation of ILPS, the efforts to lift AFSPA, and the initiatives to detect illegal immigrants and combat illicit drug-related activities.
He stressed that the ongoing unrest should be done democratically and constitutionally addressed taking into account the law of the land.
Regarding the issue of Andro residents being denied SC certificates, which was raised by MLA Th Shyamkumar during the function, Biren assured that the state government would make every effort to ensure that the people of Andro receive SC certificates within two to three months.
He also gave assurances of various development projects in Andro AC, as reflected in the memoranda submitted to him during the function.
Works Minister Govindas Konthoujam, while addressing the gathering, stated that participation in large numbers by locals of Andro in the foundation laying programme had shown their confidence and trust in the current Government.
Speaking on the current conflict in the State, the Minister highlighted the state government’s initiative to preserve forest and nature, its effort to root out drug menace from the State and identification of illegal migrants as the real reason for the break out of the current unrest.
He continued that construction of Ima Markets was started in hill districts, considering its importance in the improvement of the economy. He also stressed the importance of good road infrastructure for economic development.
The Minister informed that a project for road construction of Imphal-Yairipok spanning around 26 km with a project cost of around Rs. 89 crore had been sent to Central Road Infrastructure Fund in 2022-23.
However, the Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways had not approved any project for that year. The State Government had included the same this year’s proposal as priority, he said, assuring that the road would be repaired once the proposal is approved.
He sought support of the people of the state in the Government’s effort to restore peace and normalcy.
The foundation stone-laying ceremony for projects estimated to be around Rs. 14 crores was also attended by MLAs Th Arunkumar, Kh Ibomcha, Kh Loken, and Khullakpa of Andro Sh Chandra as presiding members.