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Government is committed to bridge trust deficit between Meitei and Kuki communities in Manipur: Home Minister Amit Shah


Union Home Minister Amit Shah has affirmed that the Indian government is committed to addressing the trust deficit between the Meitei and Kuki communities to establish lasting peace in Manipur. In an interview with news agency PTI on May 25, home minister Shah emphasised that this process will be expedited with the utmost priority once the Lok Sabha elections are concluded.

Home minister Shah clarified that the ongoing clashes between the Meitei and Kuki communities are rooted in ethnic tensions and cannot be resolved through force alone. “This is not an issue of riots or terrorism. This is an issue of ethnic violence. It can’t be resolved through force. This is ethnic violence,” he stated, highlighting the need for a nuanced approach to conflict resolution in the northeastern state.

The Home Minister attributed the violence to a lack of dialogue and trust between the two communities, a situation exacerbated by certain incidents. “We have to repair this. This is a time-consuming job. We were working on it speedily. But it has been delayed due to the elections. That is quite natural,” Shah explained.

He emphasised that leaders from both communities are currently focused on their respective political agendas due to the elections. However, once the election results are declared, the government will prioritise efforts to rebuild trust and foster peace. “I believe there will be no violence in the future,” he assured.

Background of the Conflict
Ethnic violence erupted in Manipur on May 3, 2023, following a protest march by tribals in the hill districts against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribes status. Since then, over 220 people, including security personnel, have lost their lives in the ongoing violence. Over 65,000 people were internally displaced in the violence that started a year ago.

Manipur has been governed by a BJP-led administration since 2017, with Chief Minister N Biren Singh at the helm. The state government has repeatedly linked the ongoing War on Drugs to the surge in violence, noting that criminal elements involved in drug trafficking have exploited ethnic tensions.

The violence in Manipur has been further fueled by the continuous influx of migrants from Myanmar. The government has taken proactive measures, including the deportation of detected illegal migrants, to address this issue.

Home Minister Shah’s remarks signal a renewed commitment from the central government to actively engage in trust-building initiatives between the Meitei and Kuki communities post-election. This approach is expected to involve comprehensive dialogue and collaboration to heal the ethnic rift and establish long-term peace.

Both the central and state governments are poised to implement measures that go beyond immediate conflict resolution, aiming at sustainable peace and development in the region. The focus will be on fostering dialogue, enhancing mutual understanding, and addressing the socio-economic challenges that contribute to ethnic tensions.

Future Outlook
As the Union Home Minister has indicated, the central government’s involvement in Manipur’s peace-building process will intensify after the general elections. This commitment offers a glimmer of hope for the people of Manipur, who aspire for a future free from violence and rooted in mutual trust and cooperation. The government’s efforts to bridge the trust gap between the Meitei and Kuki communities are crucial for achieving lasting peace in Manipur. As Amit Shah highlighted, addressing ethnic violence through dialogue and trust-building is a complex yet essential process. The proactive measures and planned interventions post-elections are expected to pave the way for a more harmonious and stable Manipur.

By focusing on these initiatives, the government aims to create an environment where both communities can coexist peacefully, thereby ensuring a brighter and more secure future for all residents of the state.