Union home minister Amit Shah on Wednesday held talks with a delegation of the Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF) in Delhi. The meeting was held as a follow-up of the appeal issued by the Government of India on August 3 to amicably resolve the issue of the burial of the mortal remains of the victims of the violence in Manipur.
According to sources, following a request from ITLF leaders, Shah decided to give the government’s sericulture farm for the burial of the remains.
They added that the government asked the delegation not to insist on carrying out the last rites at the same venue, which falls within the conflict zone, and identify an alternate location in consultation with the deputy commissioner of Churachandpur district and perform the burials at the earliest. The delegation assured that in view of the request by the minister, they would finalise an alternate location in consultation with the people.
Sources also said that Shah assured the ITLF representatives that the presence of central forces in Manipur will be further strengthened and reoriented to secure vulnerable areas in view of the apprehensions of the residents of the Hills. The state forces will operate under the directions of the state security adviser and in conjunction with the central forces in the Hill areas, they added.
According to the sources, Shah also stated that necessary arrangements will be made to facilitate the identification and transportation of bodies of victims of the violence lying in Imphal to their respective hometowns.
They added that the government also assured to facilitate the early initiation of helicopter services for the residents of Churachandpur, Kangpokpi, and Moreh to their preferred destinations.
Necessary steps will be taken to allow students to enrol in colleges in hill areas, transfer to universities outside the state, and open student facilitation centres of Manipur, they said.
Assurances have also been given that the three-member Justice Lamba Commission investigating the Manipur violence will have an office in Churachandpur, and that the condition of prisoners will be monitored, said the sources.
Ginza Vualzong, spokesperson of ITLF, told News 18, “Solution to our political demand seems to be far as the home minister insists on peace to prevail before the process starts.”