Tensions Rise in Manipur as MLAs Urge Re-Imposition of AFSPA

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In a significant development, 10 Chin-Kuki-Mizo-Zomi-Hmar MLAs from Manipur have formally written to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, urging the re-imposition of the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in the valley. The move comes in response to a recent resolution passed by the 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly, sans members from the Kuki-Zomi-Hmar communities, which the MLAs argue is a one-sided decision that threatens the ongoing political discourse between the Suspension of Operation (SoO) Group and the State and Central Government.

The MLAs expressed concern over the perceived bias in the resolution and labeled it a “sinister ploy” to tarnish the image of the SoO groups, raising questions about the impartiality of the legislative process. They particularly highlighted the continued presence and reinforcement of Meitei personnel among the State Commando Forces in the Kuki Zo border town of Moreh.

According to the letter addressed to Amit Shah, the MLAs asserted, “It is strongly suggested that there will be peace and tranquillity once all Meitei personnel from the State Forces are withdrawn from Moreh, and Tribal Police Officers and Personnel are deployed, as is the case in Churachandpur and Kangpokpi Districts.”

The letter further claimed that the embedding of suspected Meitei militias among the commando units in Moreh is behind the ongoing violence in the region. The MLAs argue that restoring peace requires the withdrawal of Meitei personnel and the deployment of Tribal Police Officers, drawing parallels with other districts where a similar approach has allegedly proven successful.

One of the key demands put forth in the letter is the re-introduction of AFSPA in the Manipur valley. The MLAs argued that the looting of arms and the persistent violence necessitate the full powers of the Assam Rifles and the Indian Army to recover the arms looted from the State Police and Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB). They believe that the reinstatement of AFSPA is crucial to providing the necessary authority to restore order and address the security challenges facing the region.

As the situation unfolds, the plea from these MLAs adds fuel to the ongoing debate surrounding AFSPA’s efficacy and its impact on civil liberties in conflict-ridden regions. The call for its re-imposition raises questions about the delicate balance between maintaining law and order and respecting human rights in a complex geopolitical landscape. The response of the Union Home Minister and the subsequent actions taken will likely shape the trajectory of the security situation in Manipur in the days to come.

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