Security Concerns Force Rahul Gandhi’s Convoy to Turn Back in Manipur

Imphal: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi arrived in Imphal earlier today to visit relief camps and meet the people who have been displaced by the ethnic strife. Presently, more than 50,000 individuals are accommodated in over 300 relief camps throughout the state. However, his convoy was stopped by the police due to ‘security concerns’ while en route to Churachandpur, one of the districts most affected by the ethnic violence in Manipur.

The incident occurred near Bishnupur, approximately 20 kilometres from Imphal. As a precautionary measure, the police requested the convoy to stop because of a large gathering of women protesters along the route. Consequently, Rahul Gandhi has decided to return to Imphal and will instead travel to Churachandpur by helicopter.

The ethnic tensions in Manipur escalated following a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ organized on May 3 in the hill districts. The march was a response to the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.

The clashes in Manipur are a result of ongoing disputes between the Meiteis, residing in and around Imphal Valley, and the Kuki tribe, settled in the hills. The violence was preceded by conflicts arising from the eviction of Kuki villagers from reserve forest land, which had led to various smaller protests. The situation remains tense, with over 100 casualties reported so far.

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