Rajkumar Ranjan Singh, the Minister of State for External Affairs and Education, has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the threat of “Balkanisation on ethnic lines” in Manipur.
The BJP MP, whose Lok Sabha constituency is Inner Manipur, asked the Prime Minister to “curb and control” with “a strong hand” any attempt at breaking up the northeast state, where 35 ethnic groups live. 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. Following this, 10 tribal MLAs in BJP-ruled Manipur wrote a letter to Home Minister Amit Shah, demanding a separate administration for tribals within the state, saying they “cannot live together anymore.” “From May 3 and for a few days there was complete chaos and trust vanished into thin air between the two communities – Meiteis and Kukis. In complete dismay and frustration, Kuki leaders including their MLAs have started demanding a separate political administration for their people. Perhaps they are under tremendous pressure from various quarters including militants,” Mr Singh said in the letter sent to PM Modi on Saturday.
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