IMPHAL: The upcoming session of the Manipur assembly is shrouded in uncertainty as reports indicate that a significant number of Kuki MLAs from various political parties are likely to abstain. Set to commence on August 21, the deteriorating law and order situation in the state has raised serious concerns for the safety of public representatives, particularly those hailing from the affected Kuki regions.
Tongmang Haokip, the President of the Kuki People’s Alliance (KPA), expressed deep concerns regarding the safety of MLAs traveling to Imphal. He referenced the distressing incident involving BJP MLA Vungzagin Valte, who represents Thanlon and was brutally assaulted, currently under medical care. Haokip stressed that the apprehensions of the MLAs can only be allayed if the state government and the Centre provide guarantees and take adequate measures to ensure their safety.
LM Khaute, the BJP MLA for Churachandpur, also echoed these concerns, stating, “In view of the prevailing law and order situation, it will not be possible on my part to attend the upcoming session,” as reported by various news agencies. Khaute emphasized that the ongoing violence and the lack of resolution to the Kuki community’s demands for a separate administration have intensified the situation, rendering it impractical for Kuki-Zomi-Hmar MLAs to attend the assembly.
Earlier, ten Kuki tribal MLAs, including seven from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), two from the KPA, and one Independent, had already called for a separate administration for the tribal regions of Manipur, constituting a total of ten Kuki-Zomi MLAs among the 60-member assembly.
The situation in Manipur has taken a grave turn with recent outbreaks of violence, claiming three lives and leaving 15 houses in two districts destroyed. In response to the escalating violence, the central government has deployed additional security forces personnel to the state to quell the unrest. However, restoring peace and stability remains a pressing concern for the authorities.