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It took 80 days for PM to utter a word about Manipur violence: Kerala CM

Kochi: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Sunday attacked the BJP-led central government and said it took 80 days for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to utter a word about the violence in Manipur.

Vijayan, while releasing a book titled Manipur FIR penned by Delhi-based journalist George Kallivayalil, said the union ministers did not even care to visit the northeastern state for at least three months into the violence which broke out in May this year.

The senior Left leader, in an event held here, said at a time when “mainstream media were diluting or completely ignoring the reports on violence from Manipur”, Kallivayalil has taken an initiative to document the crimes against humanity taking place there.

“Manipur has been marred by violence for the past six months. It’s noteworthy that some media outlets, which reached Israel within hours, yet have not covered the situation in Manipur. This makes it clear about the priorities of major media houses and whose interests they may be aligning with,” Vijayan said.

He said soon after violence erupted, senior opposition leaders visited the state but neither the PM nor the ministers cared to look into the matter.

“The violence began in May 2023. It took 80 days for the Prime Minister of the country to utter a word about Manipur and that too only after reports on the barbaric incidents happening there came out. Until then he was completely silent,” Vijayan said.

The Chief Minister alleged that cases were registered against those who captured the barbaric incidents there and brought it out to the world instead of arresting the culprits behind such incidents.

Citing an official report released by the authorities, Vijayan said 200 were killed and over 1,000 were injured in the incident, while around 5,000 houses were gutted.

The CM handed over the book to former Leader of Opposition, and senior Congress leader, Ramesh Chennithala at an event which saw the participation of state minister P Rajeeve, Kerala government’s special envoy to Delhi, K V Thomas, MPs Hibi Eden, A M Arif, Thomas Chazhikkadan, MLAs T J Vinod, Anwar Sadath, K C Joseph, Roji M John and former diplomat, Venu Rajamani among others.

Chennithala also attacked the NDA government and Modi, saying neither the Centre nor the PM looked into the violence at Manipur despite numerous letters by Christian religious leaders including the Archbishop there.

The senior Congress leader claimed that over 150 churches were destroyed at upper Manipur alone but the BJP-led union government ‘failed’ to control the violence there.

He said the book throws light into the various incidents of violence at Manipur.

Over 200 people have been killed in Manipur since ethnic clashes first broke out in May. Manipur has remained gripped by recurring bouts of violence between the Meitei and Kuki communities.

(Published 12 November 2023, 10:42 IST)

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