New Delhi,June 26: Chief Minister of Sikkim, Prem Singh Tamang attended an all-party meeting on the situation in Manipur, convened by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, in New Delhi.
The Chief Minister in his address expressed his gratitude for inviting him in the all-party meeting on the important issue of Manipur’s situation and developments convened under the chairmanship of the Home Minister.
“I have full faith that from this important gathering today, under the guidance of respected Amit Shah ji, we will get a determined direction on this subject,” said the Chief Minister.
Stating that the phenomenon of caste conflict in Northeast India is not a new thing, he said, after independence, several incidents of caste/community clashes took place in various parts of the North Eastern Region, causing loss of innocent lives and hard-earned property overnight or within a month.
“The communities in the North Eastern region of India have distinct identities, distinct cultures and languages. Sometimes different reasons and controversial issues like natural resources and sometimes political differences lead to ego clashes and conflict of interest between them”, said the Chief Minister.
Recollecting the months-long conflict in the Bodoland region of Assam in 2008 and 2012, where over three lakh people were displaced, hundreds of lives were lost and property worth crores of rupees were torched, Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang said, these conflicts came as lesson that such unrest have a great impact on national integrity and the age-old relationship of coexistence within a state or region.
The Chief Minister acquainted the house about how in the recent times the Hamar Dimasa struggle in 2003, Karbi Dimasa struggle in 2005 and other such conflicts that took place during the Congress party led government at the centre impacted the normal lives. He went on to add that after 2014, with the change of leadership at the center, it has been proved that a more lenient and proactive role was played by the Central Government under the leadership of the Prime Minister and Home Minister in accommodating the aspirations of the ethnic communities of the region.
The Chief Minister said, it needs some more time to bring back peace and normalcy in Manipur following the recent caste clashes as it is not possible to convince people of the need for peace when they are filled with disbelief, anger and the pain of losing their near ones.
Relating to the phrase ‘It is only a spark that burns the old bushes but the trees and animals do not know where the spark comes from’, Chief Minister Tamang said that at the time of burning the forest, they should either leave the place or face the circumstances, and the same situation has happened in Manipur.
Stressing on the need to reconnect communities, the Chief Minister lauded Union Home Minister for turning up in a conflict-torn region to share people’s pain, express solidarity and organise security arrangements at ground level, which is a gesture never before shown by any Union Home Minister.
Resolving Sikkim and entire Northeastern region’s solidarity with the conflict affected people of Manipur, the Chief Minister said, ‘we stand with those suffering the unbearable pain of losing their loved ones and valuable possessions.’
He also requested the affected communities to respect the appeal of the Home Minister for restoration of peace in the State and requested both the Central and State Governments to rehabilitate the affected families on humanitarian grounds.
Before concluding his address, Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang urged the gun groups in any community, be it ceasefire or non-ceasefire groups, to end gun culture. He said that we should always have faith in the law of the land to protect our life and property in the territory of our motherland.
The meeting chaired by the Union Home Minister Amit Shah was attended by the Union Minister Prahlad Joshi, President of Bharatiya Janata Party JP Nadda and the Presidents and representatives of various political parties.