A public petition has been raised on Change.org demanding President’s rule in Manipur which has seen mobs going on a rampage in clashes between Kuki tribe and Meitei community. The petition has so far garnered more than 46,000 signatures of who appear to be local citizens and the count is increasing.
While the former is a minority, it is a hill tribe and is opposing the majority Meitei’s demand for Scheduled Tribe status which the ruling BJP government agreed to grant.
The situation has become so precarious that the home department of Manipur has issued ‘shoot at sight orders’, and even suspended the internet. A BJP MLA was attacked by a mob and is recovering in the hospital, there is no official death toll yet and people are scared for their lives.
The public petition started by Sarvodaya Sangam states, “we appeal to the President of India to ensure peace in the state. She belongs to the indigenous tribal community, and we expect her to empathize with the vulnerable communities of the state. We urge the President of India to restore law and order and ensure the safety of life and property. We urge to consider the imposition of Article 356 of the Constitution of India, i.e. President’s Rule in the state. This step can ensure peace and tranquility among warring communities. The fundamental rights of every community need to be protected.”
The public petition also appeals for peace on both warring communities and wishes to spread the message of peace and to sit across the table and talk.
Kukis are unhappy with the BJP government in the state due to the multiple eviction drives on their ancestral forest lands, demolition of churches, insinuations of them being illegal immigrants from Myanmar and so on. The violence spread from Churachandpur district, a hill district, to the Imphal valley as well. Mobs have been on a rampage burning houses and vehicles. Even Kangpokpi, Bishnupur and Moreh are under attack.
The petition can be read here.