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"Were extremists from across the border also among those who committed violence in Manipur?" RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat

Nagpur: Hinting at the role of external forces behind the unrest in Manipur, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Tuesday asked if "extremists" from across the border were behind the violence in the Northeastern state.
While speaking at the annual RSS Dussehra rally in Nagpur, Bhagwat questioned when Meitei and Kuki communities are seeking peace, which are these 'forces' that are attempting to trigger hatred and violence.
Clashes broke out between Metei and Kuki communities on May 3, days after the Manipur High Court asked the state government to consider adding the former, the majority community in the state, to the list of Scheduled Tribes.
"If we look at the current situation of Manipur, this fact becomes obvious. How did this mutual discord and hatred suddenly erupt in Manipur, which had been peaceful for almost a decade? Were there extremists from across the border also among those who committed violence? Why, and by whom, was an attempt made to give a communal tinge to this mutual conflict between the Manipuri Meitei and Kuki communities, who were apprehensive about the future of their existence?" Mohan Bhagwat said.
"Who has a vested interest in trying to drag and besmirch an organization like the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, which has been engaged in serving everyone without any bias for years, into this unfortunate incident without any reason? Which foreign powers may be interested in taking advantage of such unrest and instability in Manipur," Bhagwat added.
The RSS chief asked why the violence had erupted and continued even though there was a state government that wanted to maintain the peace that had prevailed over the last nine years.
"Does the geopolitics of Southeast Asia also have a role in these events? Despite there being a strong government in the country, on whose strength and instigation has this violence continued unabated for so many days? Why did this violence erupt and continue even though there was a state government that wanted to maintain the peace that had prevailed over the last nine years?" he said.
"Now, when people on both sides of the conflict are seeking peace, which are these forces that are attempting to trigger hatred and violence by causing an incident as soon as any positive step is seen being taken in that direction? Multidimensional efforts will be required to solve this grave problem. To resolve this problem, we would need a strong political will, concurrent actions and efficiency," Bhagwat added.
The RSS Chief said that civil society will also have to play a special role in bridging the gap of mutual distrust that has arisen due to the unfortunate situation between the two communities.
"We are proud of our Swayamsevaks and activists, who made tremendous efforts in a calm and composed manner to help and take care of everyone in this terrible and disturbing situation in Manipur," he said further.
The annual 'Vijayadashmi Utsav' of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) started with workers' 'Path Sanchalan' (route march) at Nagpur earlier today and was graced by singer-composer Shankar Mahadevan as chief guest.
On the occasion, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat paid tribute to the founder of the organization KB Hedgewar. He also performed 'Shastra Pooja' on the occasion of 'Vijayadashami Utsav'.
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis were also present at the event.
RSS was founded in 1925 in Nagpur on Vijayadashami day. Since then, RSS has celebrated Vijayadashami Utsav every year. Dignitaries from various fields are invited as chief guests every year for the Utsav to grace the occasion.

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