Manipur: Both Centre and State Played a Principal Role in Ethnic Violence, Claims Fact-Finding Team ( The Wire )

New Delhi: A fact-finding team that visited Manipur last month has claimed that despite intense divisions between the Meiteis and Kukis, both communities believe that the government has played a key role in the state’s ethnic violence.

“The broad consensus across different communities is that the government, both at the Centre and the State, have played a principal role in the lead up to the violence and the continuance of the violence for so long,” reads the team’s report, which was released last week.

It goes on to say that the Meitei community has “broadly aligned” itself with the state government and pins a greater share of responsibility on the Union government, and that the Kuki community finds the state government more culpable instead.

The eight-member team visited Manipur between August 10 and 14 and was constituted by the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation.

Probing the two communities’ views on why the violence began, the report says that according to the Kukis, there was a “conscious attempt” to trigger violence by Meitei chauvinist groups, who they said torched the Anglo-Kuki War memorial at Churachandpur.

“Most Kukis believe that the attacks on them were pre-planned and orchestrated by the Arambai Tenggol and the Meitei Leepun with full support of the state government, and came at a time when the Union government was days away from declaring [sixth schedule] status to the hill areas of Manipur,” the report adds.

The Wire has reported on how the Union home affairs ministry was planning to finalise a peace accord along the lines of the sixth schedule – which provides for autonomous territories – with Kuki insurgent groups before the ethnic violence put paid to these plans.

This story was originally published in Read the full story here

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