Chief of Defence Staff General Anil Chauhan on Tuesday said challenges in Manipur have not disappeared, but expressed hope that things will settle down in some time while noting the situation in the north-eastern state now is not related to insurgency.
The death toll from clashes since ethnic rioting began on May 3 in Manipur has gone up to 80, according to officials.
Chauhan was in Pune on Tuesday to review the passing out parade of the 144th course of the National Defence Academy.
Asked about the situation in Manipur, he told reporters that, "The Army, Assam Rifles were deployed in Manipur before 2020. Since the challenges of the northern borders were far more, we were able to withdraw the Army. Since the insurgency situation had normalised, we were able to do that."
The situation now in Manipur is "not related to insurgency". It is a clash between two ethnicities and a situation of law and order, he said.
"We are helping the state government with the problem," the CDS said.
"I would like to say that the armed forces and Assam Rifles have done an excellent job there and may have saved a large number of lives. Though the challenges in Manipur have not disappeared, it will take some time. Hopefully this will settle and the government there will be able to do the job with the help of CAPF (Central Armed Police Forces) etc," he said.
In his address to the cadets, Chauhan spoke about the deployment of China's PLA (People's Liberation Army) along the northern borders.
"We see the war in Europe, the deployment of China's PLA along the northern borders and geo-political crisis in neighbouring countries. These crises present a challenge to India, but the armed forces are capable of maintaining the legitimacy of India's claims and peace in the region," he said.