Imphal, June 10: Amidst the ongoing violence in Manipur, an unexpected sight has emerged outside the Itanagar residence of Manipur Minister Leishangthem Susindro Meitei. A specially crafted drop box has been placed, urging miscreants who have stolen or snatched weapons to return or surrender them.
The drop box, made from a cupboard, bears a sign that reads, “Please drop your snatched weapons here. Feel free to do so.”
The move comes as a response to the rampant incidents of weapon snatching that have occurred during the violence that erupted in May. The drop box serves as a symbolic call for peace and reconciliation, with the Minister aiming to reduce the presence of weapons in the community and restore a sense of security.
Reportedly, many individuals have already heeded the call and returned the snatched weapons. Among the items found in the drop box are an AK-47 rifle, another rifle, a short pistol, and several packs of ammunition. These voluntary returns mark a positive step towards de-escalating the violence and promoting dialogue among conflicting groups.
Recent news reports indicate that over 700 arms, along with more than 10,000 rounds of ammunition, have been recovered by authorities in their efforts to restore peace and stability in Manipur. This demonstrates the scale of the weapon-related incidents that have plagued the region and the urgent need for resolution.
The appearance of the drop box is a rare occurrence, evoking the concept of trust-based systems seen in roadside bookstands and cloth stands where individuals can take items and leave payment.
However, the significance of implementing such a gesture amidst ongoing ethnic violence cannot be understated. It highlights the determination of Minister Meitei to address the root causes of the conflict and foster an environment conducive to peace and harmony.
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In other developments, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma is scheduled to visit Manipur today, where he will meet with Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh. Their discussions are expected to focus on finding sustainable solutions to the ongoing violence and restoring stability in the region.
Manipur has been gripped by ethnic violence between the Meitei and Tribal Kuki communities since May, resulting in the loss of nearly 100 lives and leaving over 350 people injured. Efforts are underway to bring about reconciliation and ensure the safety and well-being of all residents in the affected areas.
The presence of the drop box serves as a symbol of hope amidst tumultuous times, representing the collective desire for peace and the willingness of individuals to contribute to the restoration of normalcy in Manipur.