Rahul Gandhi halted by police in Manipur
Source: Hindustan Times
in ,

Rahul Gandhi’s Visit to Violence-Hit Manipur Abruptly Halted by Police

Rahul Gandhi, senior leader of India’s opposition Congress party, had his tour of the violence-stricken state of Manipur abruptly halted by the police. Gandhi was in the northeastern state for a two-day visit to meet with displaced people and leaders of civil society groups. However, his convoy was stopped by police near Bishnupur district while he was en route to Churachandpur town to visit relief camps.

Manipur has been in turmoil for the past two months due to clashes between the majority Meitei and Kuki communities. The violence has resulted in over 100 deaths and more than 400 injuries. Despite a meeting held by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with top government officials to review the situation, the Prime Minister has faced criticism for not visiting the state or commenting on the situation.

Home Minister Amit Shah visited the state a month after the violence began to implement a plan to restore normalcy. However, incidents of violence continue to be reported almost daily.

Upon his arrival in Imphal, Gandhi shared a Facebook post stating that “restoration of peace is the top priority. Manipur needs healing, and only together we can bring harmony”. However, his convoy was stopped by the police for security reasons. Heisnam Balram Singh, a senior police official at Bishnupur, advised Gandhi to travel to Churachandpur via helicopter due to the ground situation.

The Congress party has reacted sharply to the incident. Party president Mallikarjun Kharge accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government of “using autocratic methods to stall a compassionate outreach” by Gandhi. Congress MP Jairam Ramesh stated that Gandhi’s visit was in the spirit of his Bharat Jodo Yatra, a five-month-long unity march across the country.

The violence in Manipur has displaced nearly 60,000 people who are now taking shelter in some 350 camps. Congress leaders have criticized the state’s Chief Minister, N. Biren Singh, for not being able to “restore peace and normalcy” in the state and have called for federal rule to be imposed.

Gandhi’s visit to Manipur is seen as a crucial step in addressing the escalating crisis and extending support to the communities affected by the spiralling violence. However, the abrupt halt of his tour by the police has raised questions about the government’s commitment to resolving the situation.

Written by Neelesh