In a resolute stance, Union Home Minister Amit Shah emphasised the need for immediate action in Manipur, urging citizens to surrender their arms and ammunition to the Manipur police before the end of the day. Shah sternly warned of severe consequences for those who failed to comply, announcing forthcoming combing operations to retrieve weapons in the state, which has recently been plagued by ethnic clashes. During his visit to the northeastern state, Shah also issued a cautionary message to groups involved in the violation of a tripartite suspension of operations agreement, vowing to address any breaches firmly.
Addressing the audience on the final day of his visit, Shah implored individuals in possession of weapons to voluntarily surrender them to the police. He further highlighted the imminent commencement of police-led combing operations aimed at locating and retrieving concealed weapons. Shah made it unequivocally clear that individuals found in possession of weapons during these operations would face stringent legal repercussions.
In the wake of violent clashes between the Meitei and Kuki communities, which erupted on May 3, authorities have confirmed the alarming theft of approximately 2,000 weapons by mobs from multiple government armouries. However, efforts to recover these weapons have thus far yielded only 605. An official familiar with the situation cautioned that these numbers could potentially increase.
Under the agreement between the government and Kuki insurgent groups in Manipur, all weapons were expected to be surrendered and securely stored in a designated room equipped with a double lock system. While some members were permitted to retain weapons for self-defense, such privileges were strictly confined to the leaders’ camps. Regrettably, earlier this year, the state government unilaterally withdrew from certain aspects of the agreement.
Amit Shah’s Call for Peace: Disarmament Imperative in Manipur as Non-Compliance Faces Firm Consequences
Shah unequivocally emphasised, “…I want to tell groups involved in the suspension of operation agreement that any violation will be dealt strictly and will be treated as a breach of the agreement. All the terms of the agreement should be strictly followed by the concerned parties. We will monitor this strictly from today.”
The targeted attacks by mobs primarily focused on police stations and offices of the Manipur Rifles, the armed wing of the state police. During a security review meeting with police officers and paramilitary forces on the preceding evening, Shah directed the authorities to expedite the recovery of weapons and restore normalcy in the state.
The outbreak of ethnic violence in Manipur was triggered by a high court order on May 3, recommending the inclusion of the Meitei community, the largest in the state constituting 53% of the population, in the scheduled tribe list. This decision sparked protests from tribal groups, particularly the Kuki community, resulting in clashes that rapidly escalated across the state. By May 5, senior officials had confirmed multiple instances of looting of arms from police personnel and armories by groups consisting of over 5,000 individuals.
As the situation in Manipur continues to simmer, Amit Shah’s firm call for disarmament and strict adherence to the suspension of operations agreement aims to restore peace, security, and harmony within the state. The proactive measures taken by the government signify their unwavering commitment to resolving the underlying tensions and ensuring the safety and well-being of all communities in Manipur.
Amit Shah Urges Disarmament in Manipur, Issues Strong Warning Against Non-Compliance
Authorities have reported that a staggering 2,000 weapons have been stolen by mobs since May 3, with only 605 of them recovered so far. Union Home Minister Amit Shah, during his visit to Manipur, delivered a powerful message urging the populace to surrender their arms and ammunition to the Manipur police by the end of the day. In no uncertain terms, Shah warned of severe consequences for those who failed to comply, emphasising the need for immediate action to retrieve the weapons amidst the backdrop of ethnic clashes that have engulfed the state.
Speaking on the final day of his visit, Shah did not mince words as he called upon individuals in possession of weapons to voluntarily surrender them to the police. Additionally, he revealed that combing operations would be initiated by the police to locate and seize the concealed weapons. The Home Minister issued a stern caution, emphasising that anyone found with weapons during these operations would face the full force of the law, with stringent legal actions being taken against them.
The gravity of the situation is evident, as authorities have confirmed the theft of approximately 2,000 weapons from various government armouries by rampaging mobs. These incidents occurred in the wake of violent clashes that erupted between the Meitei and Kuki communities. Despite efforts to recover the stolen weapons, the current tally stands at a mere 605. It is important to note that these figures are subject to increase, as an official familiar with the matter has expressed concerns over the potential for further discoveries of stolen arms.