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    Why is India ignoring Manipur crisis?


    Why is ignoring Manipur crisis?

    By Ningreikhan Wungkhai

    It is no unprecedented occurrence for the people of Manipur to witness the state machinery failing to find its composure, considering the subpar administration and utter lack of prudence in the incumbent chief minister, O Ibobi Singh.

    In his desperate bid to win the upcoming Assembly elections in the state, the Congress CM took two decisions that ripped the state apart. First, he passed three bills that restrict outsiders from settling in Manipur to garner votes from the valley dwellers. Second, he created seven new districts. The sole aim was to win Kuki votes, in the process upsetting the Nagas inhabiting the hill districts of the state.

    Over the last few months, Manipur has been burning in every level of hell, when the United Naga Council (UNC) blocked NH-2 (which links Imphal and Dimapur) and NH-37 (Imphal-Jiribam) from October 31, in retaliation against the creation of the new districts, including one from the existing Ukhrul district. These two highways are the lifeline for the Imphal valley and the rest of the state.

    The aggrieved Nagas termed the bifurcation as the brainchild of Singh in his indignant attempt to win the election and to disturb the Naga aspiration for a peaceful resolution.

    A counter-blockade was called by the Meitei/Mitei groups of Manipur in late December, which stopped the movement of goods and people to the hill districts. The blockades have crippled the state. The prices of essential goods have shot up. The fuel crisis is at an alarming level, with petrol selling at over Rs 200 a litre and a cylinder of LPG costing Rs 2,000. Yet, the CM is not ready to bow down and roll back his decision.

    Violation of human rights and fundamental rights

    The situation has become unlikely of any democracy, with the government acting as a despotic regime, wherein the CM is the proprietor – considering the flagrant violation of freedom of speech and expression, such as putting an embargo on internet services and banning the use of social media such as Facebook and WhatsApp.

    It's been almost two months that the state has been grappling with the blockade, but neither the state nor central government has done enough to resolve it. Even the media is less committing to covering the matter extensively.

    With no solution in sight, the people of the state are angry and upset. And have just one question in their minds: Why has the rest of India chosen to ignore them?

    It is still unknown whether the CM will roll back his decision; as of now he is not ready to bow down even after being embarrassed by BJP leader Kiren Rijiju, and the people of Manipur on the brink of communal war.

    Every now and then, issues stirring in the north-eastern part of the country scarcely hit national headlines. And when they do, it is in an intimidating manner, considering the recent recommendation of state governor Najma Heptulla for President's Rule.

    Or maybe the central government is trying to kill two birds with one stone?

    Imposing President's Rule will have an adverse impact on the much anticipated ongoing Naga peace process

    (The writer is a web content writer at India Today)

    The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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