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‘People In Manipur Want Peace,’ Says NCM Chairperson Iqbal, Multiple Meetings Held To Bring Harmony

Iqbal Singh Lalpura, Chair of the National Commission of Minorities (NCM), stated on October 12 that “people in Manipur want peace.” In order to ensure that harmony was established, he continued, the NCM had held numerous talks with all groups from the conflict-affected State.

Mr. Lalpura continued, “But there are four organisations that we couldn’t contact so far and they are still to come forth with their requests.”

The NCM president said he was in contact with the people of Manipur in Delhi and had held 10 meetings with various groups in the previous five months, but he would not reveal whether he had visited the State since unrest broke out in May of this year and left at least 175 dead.

“There are 34 peoples’ organisations working in Manipur, which have representatives from the Meiteis, Kukis and Nagas. We are trying that all communities should sit together and end this matter,” Mr. Lalpura said.

He said that the involvement of persons from outside the State was what was causing the situation to escalate and that infiltration was one of the factors sustaining tension in the northeastern State.

When discussing the violence in Nuh, the NCM Chairperson claimed that organised crime was not to blame.

“The event was disappointing; the whole episode snowballed due to the misuse of social media. We are concerned for the young generation, which get easily influence by social media, [and] participate in violence without giving a second thought. This needs to be controlled,” Mr. Lalpura said.

A day prior to the incident, the district administration allegedly planned a peace meeting, but the authorities were unable to assess the severity of the situation, according to the NCM inspector who visited the scene.

“As they were already aware that something may happen, which is why the peace meeting was called, they should have been very proactive,” he said, adding that the NCM had found Muslims had saved Hindu temples from being destroyed in violence while Hindus and Sikhs saved mosques.

Mr. Lalpura also emphasised the NCM’s recent accomplishments in minority-related matters, such as providing security for Jain gurus during their travel and stay, resolving the Sammed Shikharji issue, implementing the Anand Marriage Act in various States and Union Territories, resolving difficulties faced by Indian Hajjis on their Hajj journey to Medina in Saudi Arabia, and raising awareness of the Central government’s already-existing programmes for the welfare of

“Sikhs do not intend any separation from India,” the NCM Chairperson said on the subject of Khalistan. “The issue received attention because of the fringe elements involved.”

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