Imphal/Churachandpur: Union Home Minister Amit Shah Tuesday visited Churachandpur, the scene of some of the worst rioting in the recent ethnic conflict which broke out in Manipur earlier this month, to hold talks with Kuki civil society leaders.
Among others, Shah who flew down in a helicopter accompanied by the IB chief and home secretary, is meeting church leaders as well as intellectuals from the Kuki community to understand their grievances and find ways to bring peace to the northeastern state which has witnessed a seroies of clashes between Meiteis and Kukis.
Earlier in the day, the government announced it will give a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to those who died during the ethnic conflict in Manipur.
A member of the family of those who died in the rioting will also be provided a job.
The compensation amount will be borne equally by the centre and the state, officials said.
The decision was taken at a meeting between the Union Home Minister and chief minister N Biren Singh, on Monday late night.
Manipur has been hit by ethnic conflict for nearly a month and witnessed a sudden spurt in clashes and firing between militants and security forces on Sunday, after a relative lull for over a fortnight.
The death toll from clashes has gone up to 80, officials said.
The meeting also decided to ensure that essential items such as petrol, LPG gas, rice and other food products will be made available in large quantities to cool down prices.
The home minister who flew in to Imphal Monday night is accompanied by the Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla and Director of the Intelligence Bureau Tapan Kumar Deka.
Shah also held consultations on Tuesday with stake-holders starting with a breakfast meeting with a group of women leaders, as part of his initiative to bring peace to the violence-hit state.
"Held a meeting with a group of women leaders (Meira Paibi) in Manipur. Reiterated the significance of the role of women in the society of Manipur. Together, we are committed to ensuring peace and prosperity in the state," Shah tweeted.
According to a home ministry spokesperson, Shah also held a meeting with the delegation of different civil society organisations in Imphal this morning.
Meanwhile, the Chief of Defence Staff General Anil Chauhan on Tuesday said on the sidelines of a function in Pune, that challenges in Manipur have not disappeared, but expressed hope that things will settle down in some time while noting the situation in the north-eastern state now is not related to insurgency.
"We are helping the state government with the problem," the CDS said.
"I would like to say that the armed forces and Assam Rifles have done an excellent job there and may have saved a large number of lives. Though the challenges in Manipur have not disappeared, it will take some time. Hopefully this will settle and the government there will be able to do the job with the help of CAPF (Central Armed Police Forces) etc," he said.
Ethnic clashes broke out in Manipur after a 'Tribal Solidarity March' was organised in the hill districts on May 3 to protest the Meitei community's demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status. Since then there have been waves of un rest including a latest round of clashes which saw at least 5 dead on Sunday.
The violence was preceded by tension over the eviction of Kuki villagers from reserve forest land, which had led to a series of smaller agitations.
Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur's population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley. Tribals Nagas and Kukis constitute another 40 per cent of the population and reside in the hill districts.
Around 10,000 personnel of the Indian Army and Assam Rifles, besides those from other paramilitary forces, had to be deployed to bring back normalcy in the northeastern state.