Imphal: Minister Nemcha Kipgen, who is holding key portfolios in Textile, Commerce, Industry and Cooperation in the Biren Singh led government, Thursday urged the Speaker of Manipur Legislative Assembly to grant her leave for the Special Assembly Session slated to be held on 29th August next week.
Kipgen is among 10 MLAs belonging to the Kuki-Zo community who have been demanding a ‘Separate Administration’ for the Kuki-Hmar-Zomi dominated areas in Manipur following the ethnic violence that began on May 3 in Churachandpur district.
“I would like to state that ever since the ethnic violence erupted in Manipur since May 3, 2023, it hasn’t been possible for me and my family members to stay at Imphal on grounds of safety and security. Due to the ongoing violent crisis and keeping in mind the law and order situation in Imphal, I would not be able to attend the upcoming One-Day Session, i.e. the 4th Session of the 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly due on 29th August, 2023 at 11 am,” Kipgen said in a letter addressed to the Speaker.
The Minister said she has also consulted with security professionals who strongly recommended that she exercise caution and refrain from attending the session due to the volatile law and order situation in Imphal, Manipur.
“I would, therefore, request you to please grant me leave for the Assembly Session on 29th August, 2023,” the Minister concluded.
Earlier, chief minister N Biren Singh claimed that he was in regular touch with the 10 MLAs, and promised that the state government would provide them with full security to attend the session.
While submitting a memorandum to PM Modi on August 16, the 10 MLAs also demanded a separate chief secretary and police chief for the hill districts, where a majority of Kuki and other tribal groups reside. They maintained that there is threat to their lives from Meitei groups. When violence broke out on May 3, one Kuki MLA, Vungzagin Valte sustained serious injuries in a mob attack and is undergoing treatment in a Delhi hospital.
The violent ethnic clashes have claimed nearly 200 lives on both sides. Thousands are taking refuge at around 352 relief camps covering 14 districts of Manipur.