BJP keeping Rahul Gandhi from visiting us: Kuki spokesperson
Indigenous Tribal Union Front spokesperson Ginza Vualzong added it was not just Manipur Police who did not allow Gandhi to pass, but also Meitei women
There has been no instance of violence in Churachandpur town for the past few days and the BJP is keeping Rahul Gandhi out, said Indigenous Tribal Union Front spokesperson Ginza Vualzong to National Herald. Vualzong is currently in the area himself.
“The Bharatiya Janata Party and the Meiteis are trying to keep Rahul Gandhi from visiting us. There has been no violence for a few days in town,” he said. “The residents of Churachandpur and other civic societies have been waiting since yesterday to speak to him.”
Earlier on Thursday, 29 June, Gandhi had been stopped en route to Churachandpur from Bishnupur by the Manipur Police, citing fear of violence on the way to the town. However, the ITUF spokesperson added that it was not just the police who stopped the Congress leader, but also a group of Meitei women who had been persistent in not allowing access to the town.
However, according to Seram Romesh, a social activist and advisor to Manipur Students Association Delhi , Rahul Gandhi was being stopped by the police and not the women. He said that the women were cordially welcoming Gandhi's visit to Manipur. A
According to reports from local media such as News 9, however, Rajya Sabha MP K.C. Venugopal claimed that there were no blockages on the road.
Churachandpur has been one of the epicentres of the violent clashes that have beleaguered Manipur over the last two months.
Thangminlal Doungle, an Editorial Assistant at National Council of Educational Research and Training from Manipur, while speaking to News 9 said, "The people in power are not doing enough to bring the situation under control."
The Armed Forces had tweeted recently, saying, “Women activists in Manipur are deliberately blocking routes and interfering in operations of security forces.”
This Twitter post came two days after a mob of around 1,500 people in Imphal East, led by women, refused to let security forces arrest 12 men from Meitei separatist outfit Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup.
According to sources in Manipur, Rahul Gandhi is set to take a chopper from Bishnupur to visit Churachandpur after being barred from taking the road.
Violence erupted between some of Manipur’s tribal groups and the non-tribal Meitei community in May after the high court agreed to the Meiteis’ demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.
The hill areas are predominantly inhabited by Naga and Kuki–Chin–Mizo or Kuki–Zo ethnic tribes, while the valley is inhabited by mostly Meiteis. Churachandpur falls in the hill area of the state.
This is a developing story and will be updated as new information comes in