Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh met Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday to discuss rehabilitation of people affected by violence in the state, among other issues, and is learnt to have sought the Centre’s assistance in rebuilding houses burnt down during ethnic violence in the state since May 3.
The security situation in the state also came up for discussion, including issues of coordination between Manipur Police and Central forces, it is learnt.
Sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said 50 more companies of CRPF are being sent to Manipur to strengthen buffer zones between the hills and the valley and provide security to the CBI team probing multiple FIRs related to violence in the state.
Sources in the Central forces said they have instructions to strictly maintain the sanctity of buffer zones, created to prevent movement of Meiteis towards the hills and Kukis towards valley areas.
Sources said Singh met Shah with three of his Cabinet Ministers. “The CM has recently inaugurated 400 prefabricated huts built to provide shelter to those who lost their homes in the violence. The Centre has given Rs 100 crore to build shelters and provide other relief, but we need to start rebuilding the destroyed homes — it will instill confidence among people.”
“We want the Centre to provide us Rs 150 crore to Rs 200 crore to start the process,” the source said.
According to the source, while the state government intends to rebuild all houses burnt during the violence, the initial target is to deliver approximately 1,000.
Following the clashes, there has been a complete geographical separation of the communities, with Kukis withdrawing to the hills, and Meiteis leaving the hills for the valley. The challenge before the state administration is, thus, not only to stem the violence but also convince people to return to their rebuilt homes once normalcy is restored.
“Right now emotions are running high…but let’s remember that the Naga-Kuki war was far more violent, and yet with time we have seen them coexisting peacefully. It may take some time but it will happen in this case, too,” the source said.
Sources said matters related to the security situation were also discussed, which included surrender of weapons looted by civilians from police stations.