Amid calls for talks on Manipur violence, prime minister is harping on about Opposition alliance’s name and talking about East India Company and Indian Mujahideen, says Congress
PM Narendra Modi with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh during the BJP parliamentary party meeting, in New Delhi, on Tuesday. Pic/PTI
The Congress hit back at Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday over his remarks targeting the opposition alliance, with Rahul Gandhi saying “call us whatever you want”, but “we are INDIA” and will rebuild the idea of India in Manipur. Speaking in the Rajya Sabha, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge said while “we are talking about Manipur, which is burning”, the prime minister is “talking about East India (Company) and saying INDIA means East India (Company)”.
‘Stop diversion tactics’
“The slaves of the British were the political ancestors of the BJP. PM Modi, stop diverting the country’s attention with your rhetoric. Narendra Modiji, speak about Manipur in Parliament, do not belittle the dignity of the prime minister’s post by calling INDIA, that is Bharat, good or bad,” he said. Kharge urged Modi to speak on Manipur and said that is why “we have called for a debate under Rule 267, in which voting can also take place”. Earlier in the day, Modi said INDIA (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance) was the most directionless the country had ever seen. Citing reviled names such as East India Company and terror group Indian Mujahideen, he said people cannot be misled merely by the use of the country’s name.
Restricted internet access
The Manipur government on Tuesday lifted the suspension on broadband internet conditionally, while mobile internet remained suspended. “Connection will be only through static IP... No Wifi Hotspots shall be allowed from any of the routers and systems using the connection at any cost by the subscriber concerned,” the Home Department said in a notification.
...while Manipur seeks justice
Amid ongoing violence and emergence of cases of sexual assault on tribals in Manipur, women of the Zo-Kuki community staged a protest demanding separate administration for tribals in the state. The protest was held in Churachandpur district, one of the worst-affected regions.
Women from the Kuki-Zo community stage a protest demanding separate administration for tribals of Manipur, in Churachandpur village, on Tuesday. Pics/PTI
Mizoram’s solidarity march
Meanwhile, thousands of people demonstrated across Mizoram on Tuesday to express solidarity with the Zo people. NGO Co-ordination Committee, a conglomerate of five major civil society organisations, organised the rallies in different parts of the state. Thousands of common people joined them in the peaceful protest with placards and posters, decrying the violence in the neighbouring state.
Chief Minister Zoramthanga, Deputy CM Tawnluia, ministers and MLAs cutting across party lines took part in the massive protest rally in capital Aizawl. The offices of the ruling MNF, opposition BJP, Congress and Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) kept their offices shut in support of the solidarity rallies.
End the sufferings
Civil society organisations stage a demonstration to express solidarity with Manipur’s Zo people in Aizawl, Mizoram, on Tuesday
From the rally, NGO Co-ordination Committee chairman R Lalngheta urged the Centre to end the violence in Manipur. “If India considers us as Indian, it should take immediate steps to address the sufferings of the Zo people in Manipur,” he said.
Speaking to reporters, CM Zoramthanga said his government would continue to “mount pressure” on the Centre and the Manipur government to restore peace and normalcy in that state. He said that his government will also do its best to provide assistance to the Kuki people from Manipur who have come to Mizoram. ZPM leader Lalduhoma demanded the imposition of the president’s rule in Manipur.
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