In light of the deteriorating situation in Manipur, the The Rights and Risks Analysis Group (RRAG) has recommended the imposition of President’s rule to regain control as ethnic riots between the Meiteis and the Kukis have transformed into a full-scale civil war, on Monday. They have emphasised the need to reinvigorate the peace process under the guidance of the Governor and ensure effective rehabilitation and resettlement measures for the displaced individuals, prioritizing their safety and security.
According to a press release issued on Monday, the destabilisation caused by the riots in Manipur is unparalleled in the history of the North East. The situation has been further exacerbated by reports indicating the arming of over 3,000 civilians, with alleged looting of more than 4,000 weapons and a staggering 500,000 ammunition rounds, according to Suhas Chakma, Director of RRAG.
Lamentably, there has been a lack of accountability regarding the looting of arms and the subsequent arming of civilians. Furthermore, the failure to enforce the Suspension of Operations agreements with 23 Underground outfits since August 2008, along with the inability to bring the situation under control despite the imposition of Article 355 of the Constitution on May 6, 2023, has raised serious concerns.
“The failure to bring the situation under control after the imposition of Article 355 of the Constitution on May 6 calls for the imposition of Article 356 of the Constitution to provide a government that is perceived as neutral,” warned Chakma.
He also highlighted the current arrangement where Chief Minister Biren Singh oversees the security situation in the valley, while the Ministry of Home Affairs supervises the situation in the hills, reinforcing divisions and impeding a unified approach.