Tensions rise in Manipur's Kangpokpi district as attempts to forcibly declare peace provoke public backlash. A commotion erupted on May 20 along National Highway-2 at Saparmeina, just 15 kilometers from Kangpokpi District Headquarters towards Imphal.
The incident occurred around 4:00 pm when security forces, led by Kangpokpi SP Manoj Prabhakar, IPS, accompanied by Kangpokpi District Magistrate Mukesh Hiralal Chaudhari, IAS, proposed to visit villages within Kangpokpi district. However, hundreds of volunteers quickly gathered at Saparmeina, blocking the highway and preventing officials from returning to Kangpokpi after meeting with the Committee on Tribals Unity (COTU), Sadar Hills, at Gamnom Saparmeina Police Station.
COTU leaders managed to defuse the tense situation, allowing the officials to proceed. Later, an attempt to transport loaded trucks to Imphal around 5:30 pm almost sparked further tensions if it weren't for the intervention of Assam Rifles and Kangpokpi police.
Speaking to North East Live, K. Sitlhou, the spokesperson for the Committee on Tribals Unity, Sadar Hills, criticized the government's attempt to forcefully declare normalcy and peace in Kangpokpi district. He emphasized that the situation has not yet stabilized and that any efforts to fabricate peace without addressing the underlying concerns will only exacerbate violence.
Sitlhou urged the state government and its machinery to refrain from bulldozing public sentiment and implementing policies aimed at forcefully establishing normalcy. He called for the restoration of long-lasting peace through comprehensive policies and plans that earn the confidence of the people.
The Secretary of the Committee on Tribals Unity, Sadar Hills, also emphasized that the opening of shops in Kangpokpi town for internally displaced persons should not be misconstrued as a sign of returning normalcy. Commercial vehicles are still unable to pass the highway, and educational institutions remain closed, highlighting the ongoing grim situation.
The committee urged the government and its machinery to avoid aggravating the situation by prematurely declaring normalcy and peace. It emphasized the need for genuine efforts to address the concerns of the people and restore a lasting sense of peace and security in Kangpokpi district.
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