New Delhi: Union Home Minister Amit Shah arrived in ethnic strife-torn Manipur on Monday night to restore peace by hammering out a solution between the clashing communities, officials said.
He reached the Bir Tikendrajit Imphal International Airport in Imphal aboard a special flight from Delhi, beginning his four-day visit to the state.
Shah is expected to hold several rounds of meetings on Tuesday to assess the situation and plan steps to restore normalcy, sources said.
On Wednesday, he is likely to address a press conference in the afternoon to announce the measures initiated to control the ongoing violence across the state.
He is expected to fly out of Imphal on Thursday morning, security sources told PTI.
This is Shah’s first visit to the northeastern state since ethnic clashes broke out earlier this month.
Ethnic clashes, which have claimed over 75 lives, first broke out in Manipur after a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the hill districts on May 3 to protest the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.
The violence was preceded by tension over the eviction of Kuki villagers from reserve forest land, which had led to a series of smaller agitations.
Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur’s population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley. Tribals Nagas and Kukis constitute another 40 per cent of the population and reside in the hill districts.
Around 140 columns of the Indian Army and Assam Rifles, comprising over 10,000 personnel, besides those from other paramilitary forces, had to be deployed to bring back normalcy in the northeastern state.