On April 19. The High Court of Manipur recommended that the Meitei/Meetei tribals be included in the Scheduled Tribes list of the Constitution of India. However, the state’s tribal groups strongly opposed this. While the All Tribal Students Union of Manipur (ATSUM), the state’s apex tribal body, announced that it would protest. There has been a perception among the hill tribes that Meiteis wield more economic and political power in the state.
The Hill Areas Committee (HAC), the autonomous body empowered to monitor legislation and administration of hill areas of the state, unanimously resolved to urge the Government of Manipur and the Government of India to go for Appeals against the High Court order taking into account the “sentiments and interests/rights of the Scheduled Tribes of Manipur.”
In a video message, the Chief Minister of the State of Manipur said that he is taking all steps to control the violence. And appeals to everyone to maintain peace and harmony.
My humble appeal to everyone in the State to cooperate with the Government in maintaining peace & harmony at this hour. pic.twitter.com/qViqbuflWr
— N.Biren Singh (@NBirenSingh) May 4, 2023
Violence broke out during the Tribal Solidarity March, called by ATSUM, in the Torbung area of Churachandpur district. They say that they are facing problems because of the ‘large scale immigration of people from Myanmar and Bangladesh’. Fighting among youths, volunteers of different communities, as a rally was organised by All Tribal Students Union, (ATSU) to protest against the demand for inclusion of Meitei/Meetei in the ST category.
The STDCM is supporting the inclusion of Meitei into the ST list, that demand isn’t only because of reservation for jobs or tax relief, but to protect their ancestral land, culture and identity. Which is being threatened by illegal migrants. Unidentified miscreants set fire to houses, reports of homes belonging to tribal residents were attacked.
The State government has suspended mobile internet for 5 days. Broadband services were operational. Large gatherings have been banned and a night curfew has been imposed. Section 144 was imposed in Bishnupur.