Amit Shah in Manipur: People have lost faith in the?BJP-led?government, say Manipur MLAs

Union home minister Amit Shah on Thursday announced a probe panel led by a retired judge to investigate the widespread violence in Manipur.

Six cases pertaining to the violence will be probed by a special CBI team, Mr Shah announced after his three-day visit to the violence-hit state.

Stern action will be taken if there is any violation of the Suspension of Operations (SoO) agreement, the home minister said, urging everyone to ‘surrender arms.’

Mr Shah has held several rounds of meetings with officers, political parties and the representatives of the clashing Kuki and Meitei civil groups.

A probe panel reporting to the Centre will be set up to look into the reasons for the violence, headed by a retired judge of the rank of the chief justice of a high court.

A peace committee will also be set up under the guidance of the Manipur Governor, the Union home minister announced.

An inter-agency unified command is also to start overseeing the coordination among the agencies deployed in the state to manage the situation.

‘Six cases will be probed by a special team of the CBI under the Centre. I want to assure all Manipur people that there will be an impartial and fair probe. The future course of action to ensure that no such violence takes place in future will also be deliberated,’ the Union minister said.

He also announced an ex gratia amount of INR 10 lakh ( INR 5 lakh from the state and INR 5 lakh from the Centre) to families of those who lost their lives in the violence.

Appealing to everyone who may have arms in their possession, Amit Shah said, ‘From tomorrow, a combing operation will start. Action will be taken if arms are found by the police.’

Manipur has been at the centre of violent clashes for the past few weeks which escalated on Sunday when five persons, including a Manipur police officer, were killed, a BJP MLA’s house was vandalized and over 1,000 arms and ammunition were reportedly looted by a mob from armories of Manipur Rifles and IRB.

A rally, organized by the All Tribals Students Union (ATSU) to protest the demand for the inclusion of Meitei/Meetei in the Scheduled Tribe (ST) category, was where the first bouts of violence began and snowballed.