Imphal: Union Home Minister Amit Shah held a high-level security review meeting here on Wednesday night and directed heads of all security agencies to take stern and swift actions against armed miscreants to prevent violence and recover looted weapons to bring back normalcy in Manipur at the earliest.
Shah on Wednesday visited two more violence-hit districts — Tengnoupal and Kangpokpi — and held a series of peace talks with the leaders of various civil society organisations, influential leaders, and security officials.
The Home Minister, who was scheduled to leave Imphal on Wednesday night, would stay back in the strife-torn state and may return to New Delhi on Thursday.
In the high-level meeting at Raj Bhavan, where Governor Anusuiya Uikey, Chief Minister N. Biren Singh, Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai and top police, paramilitary, and armed forces officials were present, he reviewed the security arrangements taken up by the various security forces to bring normalcy to the state.
Shah also visited various relief camps in Imphal, Tengnoupal, and Kangpokpi where people of both Meitei, Kuki and other communities are sheltered since the ethnic violence began in Manipur on May 3.
He assured that supply of essential items in hill areas and helicopter services for emergency needs in Churachandpur, Moreh and Kangpokpi would be ensured.
The Home Minister tweeted: “Visited a relief camp in Kangpokpi and met the Kuki community members there. We are committed to restoring peace in Manipur as early as possible and ensuring their return to their homes.
“In Imphal, visited a relief camp where the members of the Meitei community are residing. Our resolve remains focused on leading Manipur back to the track of peace and harmony once again and their return to their homes at the earliest”.
Shah arrived in Imphal on Monday night and held over two dozen meetings intended to curb the ethnic violence that has ravaged the state since May 3, leaving at least 75 dead and over 300 injured.
Moreh, 110 km from Imphal, is one of the oldest international trade points in India along the border with Myanmar, with the city of Tamu on the other side.
The India-Myanmar Friendship Bridge connects Moreh to Kalewa in Myanmar’s Sagaing Division. Members of many communities, including Tamils, Nepalis, Biharis, Rajasthanis, Bengalis, Punjabis, besides Meitei and Kuki, had been living together here for many years but after the violence began, thousands left it and took shelter in several areas, including inside Myanmar, after their houses were set afire.
The border town is one of the most affected areas in the recent ethnic hostilities. During his visit to the two districts, Shah met the affected families and also attended peace talks.
Meanwhile, sporadic firing between security forces and suspected militants were reported from different districts.
An exchange of fire took place at Litanpokpi village in Imphal East district, leaving a civilian injured in the gun battle. A gunfight between militants and security forces was also reported from Sugnu in Kakching district on Tuesday night.