Rahul visits relief camps in two Manipur districts, interacts with displaced people

Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday visited relief camps in Imphal and Churachandpur, where displaced people took shelter after the ethnic violence broke out in Manipur on May 3. /IANS

Imphal, June 29 (IANS) Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday visited relief camps in Imphal and Churachandpur, where displaced people took shelter after the ethnic violence broke out in Manipur on May 3.

The Congress leader visited Churachandpur, one of the worst violence hit districts, and met the inmates in the relief camps there.

After coming back to Imphal, he visited some relief camps in Imphal West District.

“In both districts, Rahul ji patiently listened to the hardship of the distressed people,” Manipur state Congress President K. Meghachandra Singh said.

Earlier on Thursday, immediately after his arrival on a two-day Manipur visit, Gandhi left for Bishnupur and Churachandpur districts by road but the police stopped his convoy in Bishnupur citing law and order problems. The Congress leaders were stopped by a huge contingent of police led by Bishnupur’s Superintendent of Police Heisnam Balram Singh, around 20 km from Imphal.

Tear gas shells were fired by police in front of the Bishnupur police station to disperse the women-led demonstrators, who shouted slogans demanding to allow Gandhi to visit the violence hit people in Bishnupur. Some, however, opposed the Congress leader’s visit.

Gandhi later tweeted : “I came to listen to all my brothers and sisters of Manipur. People of all communities are very welcoming and loving. It’s very unfortunate that the government is stopping me. Manipur needs healing. Peace has to be our only priority.”

All top Congress leaders including Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge condemned the Manipur Police action. Congress leaders alleged that Manipur Police, under the instructions of Chief Minister N. Biren Singh stopped Gandhi from visiting Bishnupur district to meet the violence-affected distressed people.

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