RSS sticks to govt position on Manipur; ‘mishandling at initial stages took place’


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By Our Special Correspondent

New Delhi, July 27: Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh (RSS) appears to be on a common page with the government at the Centre on the issue of Manipur barring an admission that the situation was mishandled at the initial stages. A top functionary of the RSS, while interacting with a select group of journalists at the Maharashtra Sadan yesterday, said that the Manipur situation was mishandled at the initial stages.

The RSS too believes that the spark to the Manipur violence came from the High Court order on inclusion of Meitei in the list of the scheduled tribes (STs). “The situation could not be handled properly at the initial stages even while the ethnic clashes should not be seen from the Hindu-Christian lens,” the RSS functionary told the scribes when asked for comment on the Manipur violence.

Incidentally, Union Minister for Home Affairs Amit Shah in his letters to the leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjuna Kharge and his Lok Sabha counterpart Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury had also underlined that “some court orders and other incidents” had led to the Manipur violence. The RSS functionary also spoke of Kukis being part of a paramilitary force in a large number, while dwelling on the ethnic divide in Manipur.

The Monsoon session of Parliament continues to face disruptions on account of the Opposition demand for a statement from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue of Manipur violence before taking up the discussion. The Opposition has moved no-confidence motions against Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the Centre.

Even while there have been repeated demands from the Opposition for his resignation, Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh has dug in his heels to refuse quitting the post. The Opposition has charged him to be partisan.

While the RSS functionary refused to see the Manipur violence through the Hindu-Christian conflict, a number of churches were burn down, besides the Kukis targeting the homes of the BJP MLAs and ministers. The Meitei community members are also reportedly leaving neighbouring Mizoram, which is Christian dominated.

Modi in his only remark on the Manipur violence made before the commencement of the Monsoon session of Parliament had expressed anguish at the incidents, while also referring to the violence against women in the Congress ruled Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan. The BJP since then has sought to equate the Manipur violence with law and order situation in the Congress ruled states. The Opposition has countered the BJP arguments, saying that Manipur is facing genocidal violence, which is not the case in Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan.     

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