Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s convoy was halted by the police today on its way to Churachandpur, one of the worst-hit districts in the Manipur ethnic violence. Mr. Gandhi had arrived in Imphal earlier today with the intention of meeting people displaced by the ongoing ethnic strife at relief camps.
The police, citing security concerns, stopped Rahul Gandhi’s convoy at Bishnupur, which is approximately 20 kilometers from Imphal. As a result, the Congress leader has decided to return to Imphal and will now proceed to Churachandpur via helicopter instead of traveling by road.
Authorities have been concerned about the security risks associated with Mr. Gandhi’s road travel, prompting officials to advise him to take a safer mode of transportation. A police officer explained that due to apprehensions of potential incidents, they took the precautionary measure of requesting the convoy to halt at Bishnupur.
The recent ethnic strife in Manipur has forced approximately 50,000 individuals to seek refuge in over 300 relief camps across the state. The conflict initially erupted in May of this year following a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ organized in the hill districts to protest against the demand of the Meitei community for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.
Prior to the outbreak of violence, tensions had escalated due to the eviction of Kuki villagers from reserve forest land, leading to a series of smaller agitations. The clashes in Manipur primarily involve the Meiteis, who reside in and around the state capital of Imphal Valley, and the Kuki tribe, who have settled in the hills.
The situation remains volatile, with over 100 fatalities recorded as a result of the clashes. With the intention of providing support and assistance to the affected communities, Rahul Gandhi had planned to visit Churachandpur and engage with the displaced individuals living in relief camps.
Despite the temporary setback of his convoy being stopped, Mr. Gandhi is determined to fulfill his commitment to the people of Manipur. By opting for a helicopter journey, he aims to reach Churachandpur swiftly and continue his efforts to understand the challenges faced by those affected by the ethnic violence.
The local authorities, along with security forces, have been working tirelessly to restore peace and stability in the troubled areas of Manipur. They are hopeful that Mr. Gandhi’s visit will shed light on the dire situation and contribute to finding a lasting resolution for the ethnic tensions that have plagued the region.
As Rahul Gandhi prepares to take to the skies in his mission to offer solace and support, the people of Manipur anxiously await his arrival, hoping that his presence will help foster understanding, compassion, and ultimately, a path towards peace.
Sources By Agencies