Chief Minister negates communal flare up
Moreh disturbance
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, June 13: Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh has categorically stated that the recent Moreh carnage in which 11 persons belonging to two different communities were killed was not in anyway related to any communal antagonism.

Quoting reports of the Ministerial team who arrived from the border town after assessing the situation there, Ibobi said all communities living at Moreh have no estrange feelings against each other and they whole-heartedly desire restoration of peace and communal harmony.

The unfortunate incident was triggered by 'external forces' of both the communities and 'we have to be very careful on it', Ibobi said at an impromptu media conference at his office chamber this evening.

'Now the situation at Moreh is under control and all security forces including Assam Rifles, IRB and Police Commandos are carrying out their duties in and around the town to foil any unwanted eventualities', he added.

While strongly condemning the killing of innocent lives at Moreh, the Chief Minister, on behalf of his Government, shared the grief and pain of the bereaved families.

Besides, studying the ground realities, the Ministerial team led by Agriculture Minister Ph Parijat and Information Minister TN Haokip and accompanied by battery of State Legislatures have convened a series of fruitful meetings with leaders of all the communities to usher in peace and normalcy at Moreh, the Chief Minister said.

The Ministerial team which was present during the conference also shared their views on the positive outcome of their stint at Moreh.

Stating that media plays a pivotal role in disseminating information of the events happening in Moreh to the public, the Chief Minister appealed to all news organisations to restrain from sensationalism that might escalate further violence.

Since the rays of hope and normalcy has cast at the border town, the Chief Minister assured that within a few days time things would go on the right track.

When total peace and normalcy returns, trading activities between to the neighbouring countries that has been stopped since the flaring of the violent incidents would be resumed like before, he said, adding 'on this, I've already talked to the Union External Affairs Ministry'.

Reiterating that Moreh town is the most strategic international trading point in the region, the Chief Minister said the Centre is keen on developing it for which 'we have already submitted a Detailed Project Report (DPR) of Rs 200 crores'.

Nonetheless, he pointed out that development of infrastructures at the border town has been hurdled by the boundary disputes.

Once this matter is settled, all the necessary trade infrastructures would be installed, he assured.

Besides this, boundary fencing at a stretch of 10 kms would be erected at the town and this could atleast thwart rapid infiltration of militants and triggering violent activities after crossing the porous boundary, he added.

On being asked about the allegation against the Assam Rifles stationed at Moreh of backing one side to fuel the violence, Ibobi said that the matter would be studied during the proposed magisterial inquiry into the June 9 incidents.

'We would also put up the matter during the regular meeting of the Unified Command.

We would seek clarifications on its from the Assam Rifles, he said.

On deployment of Assam Rifles at Moreh, the Chief Minister said that they are deployed for two purposes, one to guard the international boundary and the other to conduct counter insurgency operations.

Responding to another query, the Chief Minister said the required State forces would be deployed at Moreh to ensure no militant groups operate and indulge in violent activities in future.

'If necessary, we are ready to put on full battalion of IRB or MR there', he said, adding that to implement such deployment, the DGP, who is currently camping at the town has been instructed to identity all strategic spots where the forces could be stationed.

The Chief Minister informed that two companies of IRB have already been deployed at Moreh.

The Chief Minister clarified that though the army has been observing a ceasefire with the Kuki militant groups operating in the State, 'the State Govt has no such understanding with them'.

'If UG outfits agree to comply with certain rules laid down by the State, we are ready to hold talks with them', the Chief Minister said.