Mokokchung, 21 June (MTNews): The Christian Institute for the Study of Religion and Society (CISRS) has expressed its concern in the manner in which the government in Manipur has handled the longstanding ethnic tensions between the Kuki and Meitei communities and has urged the Central government to intervene democratically in Manipur.


The CISRS also shared ‘great concern’ on the attack on minority Christian communities from both sides adding that reportedly almost 300 churches have been burned while more than 100 people have been killed and several people have been seriously injured in the violence.


“The unabated violence in the state even after 50 days of calamity and severe casualties necessitates an immediate involvement from the Central government and the Indian judiciary to ensure peaceful coexistence between the two ethnic communities in Manipur,” the CISRS stated.


The CISRS also pointed out that the recent visit of Union Home Minister to the state’s trouble-torn areas Moreh, Kangpokpi, Churachandpur, and Imphal has had ‘limited impact’ in terms of facilitating constructive dialogue or an amicable settlement between the communities.


“The Prime Minister has not responded so far or shown interest in meeting opposition party leaders from Manipur who are requesting a meeting with him in Delhi. It is of utmost importance for the Central government to address this critical issue and bring back normalcy to the region,” the CISRS observed.


It also highlighted how there have been reports about ‘certain agendas and political appeasement’ that may have contributed to the current wave of ethnic violence in the state.


“CISRS disapproves of any form of violent activities perpetrated by ethnic communities that undermine the democratic and secular fabric of society and condemns planned acts of retaliation that deteriorate the situation,” it stated.


It also acknowledged that the indigenous communities in India’s north-eastern region, especially those in Manipur, have a ‘history of resisting heavy militarization’ that has denied their democratic rights to lead a peaceful life in the land.


“Both the Central and state governments must seriously consider formulating policies to address the age-old issues faced by tribal communities in north-east India in terms of their land rights and access to natural resources,” it added.


Stating that the idea of India as a secular democratic and diverse nation should be embraced by all, the CISRS called upon all progressive forces in the country to raise their voices for justice for the indigenous people and stand in solidarity with the victims of violence and discrimination propagated by communal forces.


“Coming together and raising our voices for justice is the only hope we have today to uphold our democracy and ensure the rightful existence of all individuals in this country,” it added.

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