PM Modi urged to address Manipur violence amid Rahul Gandhi starting Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra
Seven people have been killed in Manipur in the last 48 hours. In the face of the continuing crisis in the northeastern state, the opposition has called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to address the urgent issues affecting the area, as per The Wire.
The past eight months have been chaotic for the region as it has already recorded more than 200 fatalities, amid over 70,000 people getting displaced. Responding to the alarming situation, opposition MP Rahul Gandhi has begun his Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra from Manipur.
Speaking to the news agency, the leader of India’s main opposition Congress party, Pawan Khera, expressed concern over the Prime Minister’s silence, emphasizing Manipur’s need for a “healing touch”. He said Gandhi “sent a clear message to the state – the message of hope.”
Understanding the ongoing Manipur violence
Two different firing incidents on January 18 claimed lives of at least five Meiteis, according to The Indian Express. The day before, a gunfight between security forces and militant groups killed one Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB) jawan and one Manipur Rifles jawan.
The incident led to a major demonstration in the capital Imphal, led by women who demanded the resignation of Kuldiep Singh, the chairman of the Unified Command of State and central forces in the northeastern state.
The situation escalated as a mob tried to breach the Thoubal Police Headquarters and Hospital in Thoubal, and the security forces then employed force, reported The Wire. Armed culprits from the mob fired live rounds, injuring three BSF personnel.
Students protest against alleged educational biases
The injured security forces are believed to be currently seeking medical treatment at Raj Medicity. In addition, there have also been reports of attempts to loot weapons from the police headquarters. Several other factors have made the situation more complicated.
For instance, students in Churachandpur protested against alleged educational biases imposed by the Government of Manipur. Since May 2023, tribals previously living in the capital city have faced challenges due to the lack of access to universities in the Imphal Valley.
Some students got accepted by universities across India. But others – preferring to stay in Manipur – demanded the establishment of university campuses in the hill areas. The students alleged they were intentionally failed, stressing online classes were not a viable solution.