Concerned over ethnic violence in Manipur, the Centre on Saturday constituted a Peace Committee under the chairpersonship of State Governor Anusuiya Uikey, with a mandate to facilitate talks between conflicting groups to restore normalcy.
The members of the committee include Chief Minister N Biren Singh, a few Ministers in the State Government, MPs, MLAs and leaders from different political parties.
Former civil servants, educationists, litterateurs, artists, social workers and representatives of different ethnic groups are also members of the committee to broad-base it and have wide accessibility to gauge public sentiments.
The committee is expected to strengthen social cohesiveness, mutual understanding and facilitate cordial communication between various ethnic groups, particularly Meitei and Kuki communities.
Home Minister Amit Shah had announced the constitution of a peace committee after his extensive dialogues during a four-day tour of the State from 29th May to take stock of the situation.
The State has been witnessing unprecedented ethnic attacks and killings since the beginning of the last month. Tensions have persisted even after assurances by authorities.
The peace committee has to enable a peace making process among various ethnic groups, including peaceful dialogue and negotiations between conflicting parties and groups.
To inquire into the incidents of violence in the north-eastern State on 3rd May and thereafter, the Centre has already constituted a Commission of Inquiry, chaired by Justice Ajai Lamba, former Chief Justice of Gauhati High Court, with Himanshu Shekhar Das, IAS (retd) and Aloka Prabhakar, IPS (retd) as members.
The Commission was also announced by the Home Minister after his visit to the State. It is holding inquiry on how the violence started and spread, and whether there were any lapses on the part of any of the responsible authorities or individuals.
The Commission is to submit its report to the Central Government as soon as possible, but not later than six months from the date of its first sitting. The headquarters of the Commission is at the State Capital, Imphal.
The Home Minister has already appealed to all sections in violence-hit Manipur to maintain peace, hold discussions and promote harmony.
He particularly asked people not to pay heed to rumours and maintain peace. On behalf of the Modi Government, the Home Minister expressed deep condolences to families of those killed in the violence.
He wanted everyone to work towards establishing peace and enabling an environment for discussion and harmony.
A warning was also issued that any kind of violation of agreements to maintain peace would be dealt with strictly and treated as a breach of agreement.
Combing operations are being undertaken to initiate action against those possessing weapons even after warnings to surrender them.
The Centre has taken several steps to normalize the situation in the State, with an inter-Agency Unified Command for a non-partisan approach in security.
An uninterrupted supply of essential commodities is also being maintained, and 30,000 MT of rice over and above the prescribed quota is being supplied. Transport and medical facilities have also been upgraded.