India working to resolve matters in violence-hit Manipur, Premier Modi says on Independence Day

India working to resolve matters in violence-hit Manipur, Premier Modi says on Independence Day

State, central government working to resolve problems that led to 153 dead in 3 months, says Narendra Modi at Independence Day event

By Shuriah Niazi

NEW DELHI (AA) — Indian federal and regional authorities are working to resolve issues that have led to a recent resurgence of violence in the northeastern state of Manipur, the Premier Narendra Modi said Tuesday on the country's 77th Independence Day.

"People of Manipur are maintaining peace for some time and the process of peace is being carried forward. The state and the central government are working together to solve those problems and will continue to do so," said Modi on the ethnic violence that died down after at least 152 people were killed in the last three months.

Speaking from the ramparts of the historical Red Fort on the occasion of 77th Independence Day, Modi said there was a period of unrest and violence in Manipur, along with news of attacks on the dignity of women.

The violence in Manipur started in May after a court ruling directed the state government to submit recommendations for the inclusion of the Meitei community in the Scheduled Tribe category, which enraged the state's tribal population. Since then, thousands have been displaced besides the dozens that were killed.

Tensions in Manipur were exacerbated after a video showing two women paraded naked by a mob went viral on social triggering nationwide outrage. The Meitei people, who are mostly Hindus, form the largest ethnic group of Manipur. The two other communities in the state, Nagas, and Kukis, are mostly Christians.

- Top 3 economies

In his address, Modi vowed to raise India's economy into the world's top three within the next five years.

"When we came to power in 2014, we were at the 10th position in the global economic system. Today, with the efforts of 140 crore (1.4 billion) Indians, we have reached the fifth position.

"This did not happen just like that. The demon of corruption that had the country in its clutches — we stopped leakages and created a strong economy," Modi said in his 10th consecutive Independence Day speech as premier.

The main program was organized in the capital New Delhi, where Modi unfurled the tricolor flag on the ramparts of the historical Red Fort amid a 21-gun salute.

In his last Independence Day speech before general elections due next year, Modi asserted that India would continue advancing economically, pointing to positive analyses by international rating agencies.

"As the new world order emerged after the world wars, I can see a new world order taking shape after COVID-19," he said.

Heavy security arrangements were in place across the capital and other cities ahead of Independence Day celebrations.

Modi, who wore a special multi-colored turban for the event, promised a "New India" with a bright future in next five years.

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