Why india’ northeastern state Manipur blow up in ethnic unrest?

Why india' northeastern state Manipur blow up in ethnic unrest?

Manipur: Violence has gripped India’s northeastern state of Manipur, as clashes between ethnic groups have left buildings on fire and burned vehicles littering the streets, killing at least 58 people and Tens of thousands were displaced.
Repeated pleas from officials for calm appeared futile, prompting the Indian Army to deploy troops to restore law and order, and authorities to cut Internet access to the state’s nearly 3 million population.
Residents of Manipur say that there has been a breakdown in law and order. The state government, led by India’s Hindu nationalist ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), last week issued “shoot on sight” orders for “extreme” cases, while the army said on Sunday it had Have “significantly increased” your surveillance. condition
Authorities say they are bringing the situation under control, but as the unrest enters its second week, the situation remains hostile in a complex, ethnically diverse and diverse region that has been wracked by decades of insurgency, Suffers from violence and marginalization.
Where is Manipur?
Manipur, a lush, mountainous state bordering Myanmar, has had a long history of civil war since the founding of modern India. The state of China is home to an ethnically diverse group of Tibetan communities, each with its own distinct language, culture and religion.
Like Kashmir to the north, it was once a princely state under British rule, and was only annexed to India in 1949 – two years after the country gained independence from its former colonizer.
Many within the state disagreed with the move, feeling that it was rushed and completed without proper consensus. The region has since been plagued by violent insurgencies as well as ethnic clashes, resulting in hundreds of deaths and injuries over the decades.
The current outbreak of violence is some of the worst in recent decades.
What caused the clashes?
Clashes erupted in the state capital Imphal on May 3 when thousands of Naga and Kuki tribes took part in a rally against the special status given to the majority Meiteis ethnic group under India’s “Scheduled Tribe” grouping.
The Meitei community, a large Hindu ethnic group that accounts for about 50% of the state’s population, has for years campaigned for recognition as a scheduled tribe, which would give them a wider range of benefits, including health, education and government jobs. Benefits will be accessed.

Why india' northeastern state Manipur blow up in ethnic unrest?
Scheduled Tribes have been among the most socio-economically disadvantaged groups in India and have historically been denied access to education and employment opportunities, leading the government to officially recognize certain groups. Incited to do that in the correct years of injustice.
If the Meitei community is granted Scheduled Tribe status, other ethnic groups – many of whom are Christians – say they fear they will not have a fair chance at jobs and other benefits.
Clashes turned violent, with angry mobs setting fire to property in videos and photos. Witnesses told CNN that homes and churches have been burned, as terrified families desperately try to flee the affected areas.

Why india' northeastern state Manipur blow up in ethnic unrest?
A young tribal leader in Imphal, who spoke to CNN on condition of anonymity, said his home was ransacked and vandalized, forcing him to live in a military camp.
“What we are witnessing here, unfortunately, seems to be a very organized and planned series of attacks. The execution is almost clinical and they know exactly the houses where the people of the tribal communities live,” the leader said.
“I barely escaped… the mob was already in the house. I climbed over the fence and reached the neighbors’ house. I just came to this camp with my laptop bag. I have nothing.”
What is at the center of the clashes?
The division between the Meiteis and other ethnic groups has sharply cut along political and geographical lines.

While last week’s protests sparked recent violence, tensions between the two groups have been rising for years over complex issues including land rights and a crackdown on minority groups.
Meiteis dominate positions within state government, and have been more averse to economic and infrastructural development than other ethnic groups.
They mostly live in the developed but geographically small Imphal Valley, while the Naga and Kuki groups live mainly in the agriculturally rich and geographically large protected hill districts.
The Naga and Kuki groups fear that the change in status could permanently remove them from a protected area they have occupied for decades and make them vulnerable to exploitation.

Why india' northeastern state Manipur blow up in ethnic unrest?
Additionally, tensions have risen in Manipur since a bloody 2021 coup in neighboring Myanmar, when thousands of ethnic Chinese fled a violent crackdown by the Burmese army.
The Kuki, who are from the same ethnic group as the Chins, say the government has unfairly cracked down on the group since their arrival, leaving them feeling persecuted and abandoned. giving birth to
What have the authorities said?
Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh has said he is “in constant touch” with India’s Home Minister Amit Shah to monitor the situation, adding that “the situation continues to improve and normalcy is returning.”
Shah told Indian news outlet India Today on Monday that the situation was under control. He said that no individual or group needs to be afraid.
Modi, who is in the southern Indian state of Karnataka to campaign for state elections, has yet to speak publicly about the unrest, sparking widespread anger among Manipur residents.
Opposition politicians have accused Modi and his BJP of poor governance.
Shashi Tharoor, a lawmaker from the opposition Congress party, wrote on Twitter, “As the violence continues in Manipur, all right-thinking Indians must ask themselves if the great good governance we were promised, What happened to him?”
CNN has reached out to the state and federal governments but has yet to receive a response.
What is the current situation?
Many have fled to neighboring states including Mizoram, Meghalaya and Nagaland. Governments of other Indian states are arranging special flights for their residents to take them to safety.
The Indian army said around 23,000 civilians had fled the fighting, with displaced people housed in military bases and cantonments across the state. In a statement on May 7, he said there was “a glimmer of hope” and lull in the fighting due to rescue operations by 120-125 Army and Assam Rifles, which were “working tirelessly” for rescue. … Citizens of all communities, stop the violence and restore order.”
Although the levels of violence are not as widespread as last week, clashes continue in some parts of the state.
Photos and video shared with CNN show some Kuki settlements barricading themselves from the attacks, using wooden poles as makeshift gates. Malls are on fire, while reports of looting and arson have emerged.
And thousands remain in makeshift camps, not knowing when they will be able to return home.
There are fears for their well-being. In a video posted on social media, it can be seen that many people are crammed inside a building, including women, men and children sleeping together. CNN has not independently verified the video.
Tensions remain and the situation is volatile. It is not clear when and how the unrest will end, but residents of the state and their loved ones outside or abroad have called for the restoration of law and order.

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