Thursday, July 18, 2024

Ask PM to speak in Parl on Manipur

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PNS | New Delhi

Leaders of the opposition bloc INDIA on Wednesday met President Droupadi Murmu seeking her intervention to ensure the accountability of the government on the Manipur situation and restoration of peace in the state while pressing for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement in Parliament.

They also demanded that the prime minister visit the strife-torn state and make an appeal to the warring communities to end violence and promote brotherhood.

The 31 leaders of the opposition bloc also raised with the President the issue of communal tension in Haryana’s Nuh and alleged that the central government was not bothered about the developments that are taking place “barely 100 km from the Prime Minister’s Office”.

The opposition alliance leaders sought the President’s intervention to help restore normalcy in Manipur, which has been hit by violence for the last three months, and alleged that the voice of the opposition was being “gagged” in Parliament.

Addressing the media after meeting President Murmu, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge said the members of the delegation that included MPs who had recently visited Manipur apprised her of the situation in the state and shared what they saw in the affected areas.

“We also submitted a memorandum to the President and how incidents of violence were continuing, especially atrocities against women and parading them naked,” Kharge, who was flanked by the opposition leaders, told reporters outside Rashtrapati Bhawan

He claimed that over 5,000 houses have been burnt, over 200 people are dead and more than 500 people were injured in the violence in Manipur so far, even as 60,000 people have been displaced.

He said the rehabilitation camps, where the affected people have been lodged, are not equipped with proper living or medical facilities.

“We had met the President to bring her attention to the Manipur issue…We told the President about everything, be it Manipur or Haryana violence,” Kharge said.

“The main demand is that the prime minister should speak and visit Manipur and list steps needed to bring peace in Manipur and provide relief to the people of the state,” he said.

“We implore you to press upon the prime minister to urgently address Parliament on the prevailing situation in Manipur, followed by a detailed and comprehensive discussion on the matter,” the opposition bloc said in the memorandum.

“We urgently request your kind intervention to establish peace and harmony in the state without any further delay. Accountability for the devastation of the past 92 days must be determined. Both the Union government and the state government must fulfil their duty to provide justice to the affected communities,” the memorandum also said.

It said her support and intervention are crucial in alleviating the suffering of the people of Manipur.

“With a profound sense of loss and anguish, we are humbly submitting this memorandum for your kind intervention so that the extraordinary situation confronting the state of Manipur can be redressed at the earliest and normalcy can be brought in urgently,” said the memorandum signed by 21 members of the parliament, who recently visited Manipur to have on the spot assessment of the situation there.

Kharge later said that the President has assured to look into their memorandum and demands.

Among the leaders who accompanied the Congress chief were Sharad Pawar, Tiruchi Siva, Kanimozhi, Rajiv Ranjan ‘Lallan’ Singh, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Gaurav Gogoi, Jairam Ramesh, Farooq Abdullah, Sanjay Singh, Sudeep Bandyopadhyay, Mahua Maji, Jose K Mani, Vaiko, Sanjay Raut, Sushil Kumar Gupta, Sushmita Dev, Jayant Singh, Manoj Jha.

Kharge said the prime minister has neither been coming to the House nor making a statement on what steps he intends to take to bring peace and normalcy to the state.

The Congress chief also said that the opposition has been demanding a discussion in both houses of Parliament on Manipur but the government is not allowing it.

“My mike is shut off within seconds after I am allowed to speak in Rajya Sabha and then the treasury benches start making noise. This is an insult to the leader of the opposition,” he said, adding this is happening despite the Chairman saying that he sees the Leader of the House and the Leader of Opposition as equals.

He pointed out that after repeated adjournment motions were rejected in the Lok Sabha, the opposition moved the No Confidence Motion’. Even that has been delayed and put off for discussion very late in the session.

He observed that it may eventually be discussed for a couple of days after which the government will make a statement and parliament will get adjourned.

Kharge said that the President was apprised of how the government was treating the opposition parties.

The memorandum also brought to the President’s attention, “the silencing of the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, who represents the voice of the people and is a source of reason and rationality in the house, and the intermittent switching off of his mike in the Parliament”.

This, the memorandum added, “is a new low in our Parliamentary democracy and is highly concerning”.

Trinamool Congress leader Sushmita Dev also asked the president to nominate two Manipuri women from different communities to the Rajya Sabha to help rectify the “grievous harm” inflicted on women of the state.

Asserting that the situation in Manipur was deteriorating, the memorandum said it has reached “a critical point in the last few weeks, witnessing a complete breakdown of law and order”.

It pointed out, “The shocking viral video that surfaced online has left the nation in shell shock, and it is evident that the state administration and police have failed to address the matter promptly”.

“The delayed response of over two months to take cognisance and apprehend the accused has compounded the severity of the issue. Subsequently, it has come to light that the said incident is only one of the several cases of atrocities against women”, it said.

The INDIA MPs revealed that the people in relief camps are facing hardships with low availability of food and relief materials.

“They are living in a state of permanent fear and insecurity, and are in need of a secure and just rehabilitation to rebuild their lives”, the MPs said.

They claimed, “The three-month-long Internet ban in the state has further escalated distrust between different communities and allowed the spread of misinformation”.

The prolonged closure of schools and colleges for nearly three months has adversely affected the education and learning of children and youth in Manipur, the MPs said.

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