Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh met with Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday, according to state minister and government spokesperson Sapam Ranjan Singh, who was joined by four of his cabinet ministers and BJP state president Sarada Devi. This occurred days after Manipur saw widespread violence that claimed more than 60 lives.
J P Nadda, the national president of the BJP, also attended the meeting. “The chief minister, four of his cabinet ministers, and the BJP state unit chief met the union home minister,” said Sapam Ranjan Singh. He said the chief minister will attend a press conference in Imphal on Monday morning to inform media about his travel to Delhi, but he did not say what happened in the meeting.
In the border districts of Bishnupur and Churachandpur in Manipur, there was more violence on Saturday night. Kuldiep Singh, the security advisor for Manipur, reportedly told reporters on Sunday that two Border Security Forces (BSF) companies had been sent to the area as a result of the incident and that three more BSF companies had been sent to maintain law and order.
Calls for a separate government
Following recent violent battles between Meiteis and tribals, 10 tribal MLAs from the Chin-Kuki-Mizo-Zomi group in Manipur demanded a separate government for their territory, prompting the chief minister's trip to Delhi.
On Friday, a declaration was released by MLAs from all political parties, including the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), calling for a constitutional response to the demand. They said that the Manipur government, which is headed by Chief Minister N Biren Singh, was giving “tacit support” to the violence in the region.
According to a statement from the MLAs that is available online, “the unrelenting violence that began on May 3, 2023 in Manipur, perpetrated by majority meiteis tacitly supported by existing Government of Manipur against the Chin-Kuki-Mizo-Zomi hill tribals has already partitioned the state and effected a total separation from the State of Manipur.”
According to sources, the chief minister and other delegation members were invited to Delhi for the meeting. According to reports, Th Biswajit and Govindas Konthoujam, two state ministers, traveled to Delhi aboard a special aircraft and attended the meeting.
After a “Tribal Solidarity March” was organized in the 10 hill districts on May 3 to protest against the Meitei community's quest for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status, violent skirmishes broke out in the north-eastern state. The anxiety over the eviction of Kuki people from reserve forest area, which had sparked a number of minor agitations, preceded the violence.
The majority of Meiteis, who make up around 53% of Manipur's population, reside in the Imphal Valley. Another 40% of the population is made up of the Naga and Kuki tribes, who live in the hill areas. The ethnic violence that wracked the northeastern state left 60 people dead, 231 wounded, and 1,700 dwellings, including places of worship, burned, according to the chief minister's statement on Monday.