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Unprecedented, never faced before: Assam Rifles DG on Manipur situation

By D Banjop Mukhim
September 01, 2023 14:09 IST
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Unlike in the past, Manipur is witnessing an “unprecedented” situation currently due to the ethnic clashes owing to the fact that both communities have large number of weapons putting the state in the spot like never before, a senior official in Assam Rifles has said.

IMAGE: Lt Gen P C Nair, Assam Rifles Director General. Photograph: ANI

In an interview with ANI, Director General of Assam Rifles Lt General PC Nair said that there is a need for realisation to come for the people of the state that the only way forward is peace.

"The situation that we are facing in Manipur is unprecedented. We have never faced anything of this kind. Something similar happened in the early 90s when the Nagas and Kukis fought and then within the Kuki groups also there was a fight in the late 90s. Today, the biggest challenge is the large number of weapons that are out within both communities. Related to this, is the minds of both communities. Today, there's so much (hatred) against each other. It's so corrupted. This needs to be stalled,” the DG said, adding, “There is a need for realisation to come for the people that the only way forward is peace."

He appealed to the people to ‘move forward’ to ensure the ‘socioeconomic progress’ of the state.

“Let's get back there because as you move forward that is the only way to ensure your socioeconomic progress..," he added.


Nair while speaking to PTI said the country's oldest paramilitary force is unbiased and has destroyed bunkers, seized weapons and rescued innocent people from both sides in Manipur.

"We are not biased and I want to make that absolutely clear. If we see bunkers we destroy them. The weapons we recovered from both the communities are equal, the number of people that we have helped from from both the communities is also equal,” the Assam Rifles chief said.

His statement came in the wake of allegations that the Assam Rifles is biased towards a certain community in the ongoing violence in Manipur.

"Why should we be partial to one community? We have soldiers from both the communities in our force and we have had no issue of any kind of rivalry amongst them. That truly speaks of the leadership that is there both in the Army and the Assam Rifles.

"These officers are giving all that they could to ensure to bring about peace," he said.

Manipur is heading towards better times and the worst is behind it, claimed Lt Gen P C Nair.

He said sporadic killings and shootings are happening in Manipur but the northeastern state is heading towards better times.

"If I have to sum up, the worst is behind us. The sporadic incidents of shootings and killings will gradually subside and I think we are heading towards better times," the Assam Rifles DG said.

He reiterated the need for local people of Manipur to get together and start talking to each other to bring back peace and normalcy in the violence-hit state.

Asked about how long it would take for that to happen, Lt Gen Nair said, "That is a question no one will be able to answer. It all depends on the locals (of Manipur)."

"If I have to put it very frankly, it is not the security forces who can sort the problem out as is thought to be. We are here only to curtail the level of violence. We are here to stop the firings that take place," he said.

Stating that a lot is happening backstage, Lt Gen Nair said, "We (Assam Rifles) and the Indian Army is playing a big role - we are talking to civil society organisations, the youths and various stakeholders to get them to the talks table and get this issue sorted out."

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D Banjop Mukhim
Source: PTI© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.