Chief Minister N Biren Singh of Manipur has expressed deep regret over the recent outbreak of communal tension in the state, attributing it to lapses in security and intelligence measures. Addressing the observance ceremony of the 31st anti-terrorism day organized by the Government of Manipur, Singh highlighted the unexpected nature of the May 3 incident and urged the public not to blame or fight amongst themselves, but rather hold the government accountable.
During his speech as the chief guest at the main conference hall of the Old Manipur Secretariat, Singh emphasized that the government's responsibility is to safeguard the state from unlawful activities that could jeopardize society. Measures had been taken to address issues such as the influx of illegal immigrants and the illicit drug trade, all with the aim of preserving Manipur's future. The Chief Minister reassured the public that the state government had no intention of hurting any community's sentiments.
Singh acknowledged that the tension arose as a result of resistance to the state government's activities, which unfortunately led to security and intelligence lapses. He called for unity and urged the people not to communalize the issue, stressing that blame should be directed towards the government instead of fostering hatred between communities. The Chief Minister took full responsibility for the crisis and pledged that the state government would make every effort to rectify the situation.
Expressing concern for those who had fled to other states like Mizoram, Guwahati, and Delhi seeking shelter, Singh assured that the government would work tirelessly to bring them back to Manipur. He pledged that no one would be left homeless and that their land and homes would be protected. Additionally, he mentioned plans to reach out to the 10 Kuki MLAs and urged all 35 ethnic communities to strive for peaceful coexistence.
Appealing to the people of Manipur to support the restoration of peace and tranquility, the Chief Minister commended the acts of humanity displayed by individuals from different communities who rescued and handed over people to security personnel for their safety. He encouraged citizens to rebuild the bonds that had united Manipur in the past, recalling significant events such as the Sangai Festival and the successful hosting of the G20 summit, where all communities came together. Singh passionately appealed for an end to rallies or demonstrations promoting hate speech and communal enmity.
The Chief Minister emphasized that the government's priority lies in restoring peace while also ensuring the welfare of affected citizens. Efforts have been made to provide basic necessities and education for affected children, and steps will be taken to address healthcare needs. Expectant or pregnant mothers currently residing in relief camps will be relocated to safer places.
Reflecting on the history of observing Anti-Terrorism Day, Singh underscored the global challenge posed by terrorism. Despite its destructive nature, terrorism persists, and countries around the world are united in their fight against it. He called on the people of Manipur to lend their unwavering support in combating this menace.
As a mark of respect for those who lost their lives during the recent crisis, a minute of silence was observed during the anti-terrorism day ceremony. The event commenced with uplifting songs, followed by speeches from the chief guest and the president. Government officials, MLAs, and ministers present at the function took a pledge to contribute to the cause.
The event was presided over by Forest Minister Thongam Biswajit Singh, who emphasized the importance of promoting peace and unity in the state.
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