“Held a productive meeting with Lt. Gen. R.P. Kalita, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Indian Army’s Eastern Command, Major General Ranjan Sherawat, IGAR South, Lt. General H.S. Sahi, General Office Commanding of 3 Corps, at my official residence. Focused on strengthening cooperation and ensuring security for the people of the state,” Singh said in X, formerly Twitter.
Since the outbreak of the ethnic violence in Manipur on May 3, this was Lt. Gen. Kalita’s third visit to the northeastern state. On previous occasions too, the senior Army officer had discussed security related matters with the Army and Assam Rifles officers, besides holding meetings with the Chief Minister and senior state government officials.
Officials said that ahead of the crucial Assembly session on Monday, the Chief Minister also held a separate meeting with the ministers and MLAs of the ruling BJP.
Singh stated in X, “Chaired a meeting with the ministers and MLAs of the ruling party at my Secretariat. The meeting deliberated the key issues, policy matters, and strategies to address the pressing challenges facing the state.”
Meanwhile, 10 tribal MLAs, including seven ruling BJP legislators, who since May 12 have been demanding a separate administration for the tribals, have already announced to not attend Tuesday’s Assembly session due to “security reasons”.
The 10 tribal MLAs include two ministers — Letpao Haokip and Nemcha Kipgen.
Five MLAs of the Naga People’s Front (NPF) are likely to attend the session, though they are yet to declare their decision officially.
The NPF has two ministers in the 12-member council of ministry headed by Biren Singh.
Over 170 people have been killed while more than 700 people have been injured since ethnic violence broke out in the state on May 3, after a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.
In view of the ethnic strife in Manipur, approximately 70,000 men, women and children belonging to different communities have been displaced and are now sheltered in 350 camps set up in schools, government buildings and auditoriums in Manipur while several thousands have sought refuge in the neighbouring states including Mizoram.
Over 60,000 Central security forces personnel, including Army and Assam Rifles, have been deployed in Manipur since the outbreak of violence.