NESO demands PM Modi to break silence, quell violence in Manipur

NESO orchestrated a poignant candlelight vigil, followed by the symbolic act of affixing the candles in front of the revered Kangla’s western gate on Wednesday evening. Tehelka photo by Aribam Bishwajit

The North East Students’ Organization (NESO) has called upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi to address the unceasing unrest in Manipur, which has persisted for around two months. NESO, an alliance comprising seven student organizations from the northeastern states, expressed deep concern over the prolonged silence of the Prime Minister and emphasized the urgent need for his intervention to restore peace and normalcy in the region.

As part of their ongoing efforts, NESO organized a candlelight vigil for peace at the western gate of the iconic Kangla in Imphal. Similar programs were simultaneously held in the capitals of all eight northeastern states. The vigil aimed to bring together the 34 affected communities, mourn the loss of over 120 lives, and condemn the destruction of numerous properties, which has resulted in the displacement of over 50,000 individuals across Manipur.

NESO advisor Sinam Prakash, speaking on behalf of the organization, raised questions regarding the Prime Minister’s silence and its impact.”PM Modi’s prolonged silence, even after 50 days of violence in the state, deeply concerns us,” he stated. “We urge the Prime Minister to break his silence and express his views on the ongoing violence. Failure to do so will lead us to believe that there are hidden agendas behind the unrest. The central and state governments must make all possible efforts to restore peace and normalcy.”

Prakash further emphasized the severe repercussions of the crisis on the education sector among other key areas within the state. He highlighted the challenges faced by students from the northeastern states due to the prevailing conflict. “We appeal to the government to restore peace, ensuring the safe return of northeast students who have fled the state due to violence. They should be able to resume their studies in a peaceful environment, just as they did before,” he added.

The NESO’s call for Prime Minister Modi’s intervention comes at a critical juncture, with the violence in Manipur creating a significant disruption in various sectors and adversely affecting the lives of countless individuals. The organization’s plea for immediate action reflects the pressing need for swift resolution and restoration of peace in the region.

Meanwhile, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is set to arrive in Imphal on Wednesday for a two-day visit on June 29 and 30, during which he will closely evaluate the situation. The Gandhi scion will personally visit relief camps and engage with civil society representatives in both Imphal and Churachandpur.