A candlelight vigil was organized by a group of women belonging to the Kuki community in Manipur to honor the lives lost during the recent violence in the state.
At Jantar Mantar, a significant number of Kuki women gathered, holding candles as a symbol of unity and remembrance.
In a memorandum addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, they appealed for his intervention in restoring peace and stability in Manipur. Their demands encompassed several key points, including the immediate imposition of President’s rule, the establishment of a separate administration for a permanent solution, increased deployment of central forces and impartial officers in conflict zones, as well as enhanced security measures in mortuaries and hospitals.
Furthermore, they emphasized the importance of providing adequate security, food, and medical assistance to those affected by the turmoil.
Expressing their concerns, a member of the Kuki Women’s Forum stated, “Since May 3, Manipur has been engulfed in unrest, which has persisted for over a month. Despite the visit of Home Minister Amit Shah and his appeal for normalcy, the violence has not abated. Just a few days ago, a mother and her son were brutally killed. We are now unsure whom to trust.” She added, “We earnestly request the Prime Minister and the Home Minister to prevent the situation from escalating any further.”
The clashes in Manipur erupted following a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ organized on May 3 by the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status. Prior to the violence, tensions had arisen due to the eviction of Kuki villagers from reserved forest land, leading to a series of smaller agitations.
Manipur’s population is comprised of approximately 53% Meiteis, who predominantly reside in the Imphal Valley, while the tribal communities—Nagas and Kukis—constitute around 40% and inhabit the hill districts.
Tragically, the ethnic clashes have resulted in the loss of over 100 lives, necessitating the deployment of around 10,000 army and paramilitary personnel to restore normalcy in the northeastern state.
(With PTI inputs)