The Congress on Saturday criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the violence in Manipur, saying that his “stoic silence” is “rubbing salt in the wounds” of the people in the state.

Manipur has witnessed ethnic clashes between Meiteis and Kukis since May 3 that have left more than 100 persons dead, over 300 injured and thousands displaced. The violence broke out after thousands of people participated in a protest march to oppose the demand of the majority Meiteis to be included in the Scheduled Tribes category.

“It took almost a month for you to send the Union Home Minister [Amit Shah] to the state,” Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge said. “Eight days after home minister’s departure, violence continues in Manipur…As the prime minister, the least you could have done is appeal for peace.”

Home Minister Amit Shah had arrived in Manipur on May 29 for a three-day visit. He had met Kuki civil society groups and tribal leaders in Churachandpur and Meitei groups in Imphal. The home minister had also announced a committee led by a retired High Court judge to investigate the violence in Manipur.

However, since Shah’s visit, sporadic incidents of violence have been reported, making the situation in the state more precarious.

On Friday, three persons were killed and two were injured in fresh violence after armed miscreants attacked Khoken, a Kuki village situated on the boundary of the Kangpokpi and Imphal West districts.

Centre announces Peace Committee

The Centre on Saturday said that it has constituted a Peace Committee in Manipur under the leadership of Governor Anusuiya Uikey.

The members of the committee include Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh, some ministers of the state government, MP, MLAs and leaders from different political parties, former civil servants, members of the civil society and representatives of different ethnic groups.

“The mandate of the committee will be to facilitate a peace-making process among various ethnic groups of the state, including peaceful dialogue and negotiations between conflicting parties/groups,” the Ministry of Home Affairs said. “The committee should strengthen social cohesiveness, mutual understanding and facilitate cordial communication between various ethnic groups.”