Expected President’s Rule, Says Mizoram Chief Minister Lalduhoma On Manipur Violence

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'Expected President's Rule': Mizoram Chief Minister On Manipur Violence

Mizoram Chief Minister Lalduhoma speaks at the 71st Plenary Session of the North East Council

Shillong/New Delhi:

Amid fresh violence in Manipur, neighbouring Mizoram’s Chief Minister Laldohuma has said he has been expecting President’s rule to be imposed in Manipur.

“That (President’s rule) is what we are expecting as it (violence) has gone on for very long. The situation does not change, and sometimes it becomes worse,” Laldohuma told reporters at the 71st Plenary Session of the North East Council in Meghalaya’s Shillong.

“There has to be a solution between the government of India, government of Manipur and tribal leaders,” the newly elected Mizoram Chief Minister said, adding “the buck stops at the Home Ministry”.

Mizoram has sheltered hundreds of people from the Kuki tribes who have come from violence-hit Manipur, a state ruled by the BJP.

“The Indian Constitution provides that they can settle anywhere in the country. Unless normalcy returns to Manipur, we will look after them. Yes, it is the responsibility of the Home Ministry to intervene if there is trouble anywhere in the country,” Lalduhoma said.

“There has to be a solution between the tribal leaders and the state government; it must be mediated by the Home Ministry. We have nothing to do, except to look after the people who are staying there,” said the Mizoram Chief Minister who defeated Zoramthanga of the Mizo National Front (MNF) in the recent assembly election.

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On December 12, Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh had asked his Mizoram counterpart Lalduhoma not to interfere in the internal matters of Manipur, but rather give support in restoring peace.

Citing comments by Lalduhoma on the Manipur ethnic tension between the hill-majority Kuki tribes and the valley-majority Meiteis, Mr Singh had said Lalduhoma must stop expressing views that are beyond his constitutional mandate.

“… A lot of communities have been living in (border town) Moreh. My earnest appeal to him is, please help us restore peace. I never commented when the Bru issue happened in Mizoram, so please pray and help us restore normalcy in Manipur,” Mr Singh had said at an event in the honour of Nupi Lan (Women’s War), a key historical event when the women of Manipur fought against the British twice – in 1904 and 1939.

The Bru tribes have been living in relief camps in Tripura since 1997. They had fled their homeland Mizoram to reach the neighbouring state because of ethnic clashes.

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Lalduhoma earlier this month told External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar that he does not want the border with Myanmar to be fenced, according to a report by Deccan Herald. Mizoram has given shelter to over 35,000 refugees who came from Myanmar to escape the conflict between the junta forces and insurgents.

In the meeting with the Foreign Minister in Delhi, Lalduhoma had said if the Centre builds fences along the Mizoram-Myanmar border, it would mean accepting the blunder committed by the British colonial government, which divided the Mizos living in both India and Myanmar. “The Mizo people reject the proposal to fence the border,” Lalduhoma reportedly told Mr Jaishankar.

The comment was seen with concern in neighbouring Manipur, where the Meiteis have accused illegal immigrants from Myanmar crossing over to India over a matter of decades, and a huge network of drug traffickers fed by thousands of acres of poppy cultivation in the hills, as the core factors behind the violence that began on May 3, 2023.

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