PM Should Lead All-party Delegation to Manipur, But He Remains Indifferent, Says Congress MP Gogoi


IMPHAL — The parliamentary delegation of Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA), which visited Manipur on Saturday, again criticised Prime Minister Narendar Modi for not visiting the violence-hit state and failing to restore peace and normalcy even after around three months.

Congress’ Assam MP Gaurav Gogoi, who is also part of the delegation of 21 MPs from 16 parties, said that the Prime Minister should have led the all-party delegation to Manipur to restore peace by involving all communities.

“He (PM) not only avoids visiting Manipur but also refuses the all opposition parties’ continuous demand to give a statement in the parliament on the Manipur issue,” he said.

Gogoi said that the 21 member parliamentary team, divided in two groups, visited Churachandpur, Imphal East and other districts and talked with the affected people of both communities.

The ethnic violence in Manipur which broke out on May 3 has so far killed over 160 people and injured more than 600 others beides destroying thousands of houses and other properties.

Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha member Sushmita Dev, who is also part of the delegation, said that they will also likely meet Governor Anusuiya Uikey.

“We will visit Churachandpur and other affected areas of Manipur. We will not meet Chief Minister (N. Biren Singh) as he is a villain to the ongoing ethnic conflict in Manipur,” Dev, who is visiting Manipur for the second time in ten days, told IANS.

“BJP and its governments are responsible for the Manipur crisis and loss of many lives and the mayhem. BJP is a lost face, Prime Minister is a lost face. It was important for us to come and meet the victims here. The sad part is that the Government of India should have sent a delegation but it remained a mute spectator.”

A team of INDIA on Saturday visited the riot-hit town of Churachandpur, where they met Kuki leaders and members of the civil society besides ethnic strife victims in the relief camps where they were lodged.

After meeting the Kuki leaders in Churachandpur, Congress’ Lok Sabha group leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury told the media that the inmates of the relief camps are demanding a CBI probe into the crimes committed against the women.

“Government did not listen to the voice of the affected Manipuri people… They (central government) are sleeping till now?” he asked.

IUML MP E.T. Muhammed Basheer said: “Our main intention is fact-finding. We are getting horrific information of crimes like sexual harassment, naked-parading. So we will have a discussion with officials concerned also, we have visited the affected areas and met the victims. We would once again raise the issue in the parliament with all the experience we gathered from Manipur.”

Shiv Sena-UBT MP Arvind Sawant said: “Our plan to visit Manipur is to bring peace and harmony between the communities.”

CPI-MP P. Santhosh Kumar said that the visit is to give a message that team INDIA is not just an alliance for election but it is an alliance to raise people’s voice. RJD MP Manoj Jha said that they wanted to tell the PM that “we are making an effort to do what he and his team should have done”.

“We are visiting Manipur to understand the collective pain of the people of the violence affected state,” Jha stated.

“We met the people of Manipur and told them that we stand with them and we are fighting for them. We asked for permission to meet the Manipur Governor also. We expect the PM to reply in Parliament after the discussion on Manipur,” said DMK MP Kanimozhi, who is also part of the delegation.

The parliamentary delegation is likely to meet Governor Anusuiya Uikey at Raj Bhawan here on Sunday to discuss the ongoing situation and possible measures to bring peace in Manipur at the earliest.

The Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF), an apex body of tribals in Manipur, submitted a memorandum to the visiting parliamentary delegation seeking the support of their demand of a separate administration (equivalent to separate state) and implementation of President’s rule in Manipur.

The Congress and other opposition parties are also demanding the imposition of the President’s rule in Manipur and discussions in the Parliament.

The other delegation members are Rajiv Ranjan Singh, A.A. Rahim, Javed Ali Khan, Mahua Maji, P.P. Mohammed Faizal, Aneel Prasad Hegde, N.K. Premachandran, Sushil Gupta, D. Ravikumar, Thiru Thol Thirumavalavan, Jayant Singh, Phulo Devi Netam, and K. Suresh. — IANS


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