Top Indian army officer calls for political solution to violence in Manipur-Xinhua

Top Indian army officer calls for political solution to violence in Manipur

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2023-11-22 18:55:45

NEW DELHI, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) -- A top Indian army officer, Lieutenant General Rana Pratap Kalita, said the ongoing ethnic violence in the northeastern state of Manipur needs a political solution.

Kalita, who is General Officer Commanding-In-Chief of Eastern Command, told the media in Guwahati on Tuesday that incidents of sporadic violence in Manipur continued due to sharp polarization between the two communities.

"Because of the polarization between the two communities, Meiteis and Kuki, some sporadic incidents are taking place here and there, including yesterday's incident ... ultimately, there has to be a political solution to the problem," he said.

According to Kalita, over 4,000 looted weapons are still in the hands of the people and are being used in incidents of violence.

Kalita's remarks came amid a 48-hour shutdown in Manipur's Kangpokpi district to protest against Monday's killing of a policeman and his driver. The shutdown call given by the Committee on Tribal Unity accused Meitei insurgents of the killings.

Markets remained closed and traffic stayed off the roads in the wake of the shutdown.

Manipur has been on edge since May 3 when large-scale violence broke out in the state during a tribal protest over the inclusion of the non-tribal Meiteis community for a scheduled tribe status -- designated for disadvantaged socio-economic groups which gives them reservations in education and government jobs.

The ethnic clashes between the majority Meitei group and the tribal Kuki minority have displaced 60,000. The mobs in the state resorted to vandalism and arson targeting houses and shops.

As per figures released by police in mid-September, 175 people have been killed, 1,118 injured and 33 reported missing since May 3.

So far efforts by the federal government to restore peace in the state have not yielded desired results.