A group of intellectuals from Manipur’s Meitei and Kuki communities met at the Delhi home of a Union Minister yesterday to discuss how to bring peace in the violence-hit northeast state, sources have told NDTV.
The meeting was held at the Delhi home of Rajkumar Ranjan Singh, the Minister of State for External Affairs and Education and one of the two Lok Sabha MPs from Manipur.
The other MP, Lorho S Pfoze, also participated at the meeting and agreed there is an urgent need for both the communities to work for peace, sources said.
“Ten intellectuals each from both the Meitei and the Kuki communities discussed how to bring peace and reconciliation in Manipur, and the way forward. They spoke about thousands of years of shared history, culture and civilisation and agreed no one wants to lose them,” a person who attended the meeting said, asking not to be named.
“How to bring normalcy in Manipur as soon as possible was the focus of the talks,” the person said.
The participants of the meeting have appealed for peace and calm and also requested people, especially in the northeast, not to spread false information on social media that could hinder efforts to bring normalcy in Manipur.
The meeting ended with a prayer for peace by the members of both the communities.
Over 70 people have died since May 3 in clashes between the Meiteis, who live in and around the state capital Imphal valley, and the Kuki tribe, who are settled in the hills, over the valley residents’ demand for inclusion in the Scheduled Tribes (ST) category.
Last week, Rajkumar Ranjan Singh, just after returning from Japan where the G7 summit was held, wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to “identify and condemn” local politicians who could be responsible for the trouble in Manipur.
“We are not to blame any community or ethnic group… The harmonious relations among ethnic groups are often violated by leaders for getting their political ends. Myopic politicians often play with the lives and emotions of the common people… They have done enough damage to society. Their tactics trigger unimaginable losses, for instance the present ethnic inferno. Such local leaders must be identified and condemned,” Mr Singh wrote in the letter to PM Modi on May 21.