Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Wednesday asked his Mizoram counterpart Zoramthanga to not interfere in the internal matter of another state, PTI reported.
The remarks came a day after Zoramthanga participated in a rally held in Aizawl to express solidarity to Kukis in the violence-hit Manipur.
Manipur has been witnessing ethnic clashes between the Kuki and the majority Meitei communities since May 3. Widespread incidents of violence and arson continue to deepen the crisis in the state. Over 140 people have been killed and nearly 60,000 have been forced to flee their homes.
The violence began after thousands participated in a protest march organised by the All Tribal Students’ Union of Manipur to oppose the demand of the majority Meitei community to be included in the Scheduled Tribe category.
The Mizoram government is sheltering about 13,000 Kuki people who have fled Manipur, according to NDTV.
On Wednesday, Singh said that the fight in Manipur was between the government and those “who want to disturb peaceful co-existence in the state.”
“Tension began when the state government started to act against drug cartels,” he said, according to PTI. “The Manipur government is not against the Kuki community who are living in the state.”
He also claimed that abusive slogans were shouted against him at the rally in Aizawl on Wednesday.
Several Kuki groups in Manipur have accused Singh of giving patronage to shadowy violent Meitei groups, who have been allegedly involved in several incidents of violence in the state since May. Several Opposition leaders and even Bharatiya Janata Party MLAs in Manipur have demanded the removal of Singh, who belongs to the Meitei community.
Earlier this month, in a spat with social media users, Singh had alluded to cultural ties that Kukis have with groups across the border in Myanmar. He later deleted the messages. In the past too, he has been accused of making remarks that many have alleged amounted to racial profiling of the Kuki community.