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Rahul Gandhi’s Strategic Visit to Manipur Boosts Hopes for Peace and Relief

Congress leader and Leader of Opposition Rahul Gandhi is scheduled to visit the conflict-ridden state of Manipur on Monday, amid heightened security measures in the volatile Jiribam district. State authorities have imposed a ban on aerial photography using drones, balloons, or any other means, as part of the tightened security protocol, officials said. Gandhi’s visit aims to assess the ongoing situation and provide moral support to the affected populations. Additionally, he is set to visit flood-affected areas in Assam on the same day, as confirmed by party leaders.

The administration of Jiribam district preempted any potential security breaches by prohibiting aerial photography and videography through a notification issued by the district magistrate on Sunday. The notification underscored that any violations of this directive would lead to stringent legal action under Section 223 of the Bharatiya Nyay Sanhita and other relevant legal provisions. These measures are part of an extensive security arrangement ahead of Gandhi’s visit to this violence-affected region.

In anticipation of Gandhi’s visit to the violence-stricken state, a reconnaissance team consisting of state Congress leaders has been actively preparing the ground. Key figures in the state Congress leadership, including working president Victor Keishing and AICC Manipur in-charge Girish Chodankar, have been visiting relief camps to ensure everything is in order for the Leader of Opposition’s inspection.

Manipur Congress president Keisham Meghachandra, along with other prominent party functionaries, has preemptively moved from Imphal to Jiribam district to receive Gandhi. Earlier discussions among the state Congress leaders focused on the specifics of Gandhi’s visit and its potential impact on the local socio-political climate. Notable participants in these discussions included Meghachandra, Congress Legislature Party leader O Ibobi Singh, and Congress MPs from the state, Angomcha Bimol Akoijam and Alfred Kanngam Arthur.

“Gandhi’s decision to visit Manipur at this critical juncture underscores the need for peace and stability in the region. His presence here as the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha is deeply appreciated,” a senior Congress leader commented, highlighting the political and symbolic significance of the visit.

As outlined by Meghachandra, Gandhi’s itinerary is packed and meticulously planned.

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. He is scheduled to fly from Delhi to Silchar, after which he will proceed to Jiribam district, a region recently marred by fresh violence on June 6. His agenda includes visiting multiple relief camps in Jiribam to get a firsthand understanding of the conditions and the challenges being faced by the displaced and affected families. Following this, Gandhi will return to Silchar airport to fly to Imphal.

Upon his arrival in Imphal, Gandhi will make a trip to Churachandpur district, another area significantly impacted by the conflict. There, he is scheduled to engage with residents in relief camps, offering words of solace and seeking to understand their plight. Subsequently, he will travel by road to Moirang in Bishnupur district to visit additional relief camps, further extending his outreach to the affected populace.

In Imphal, Gandhi is slated to meet with Governor Anusuiya Uikey for a scheduled meeting where discussions are expected to focus on the current situation and possible steps toward restoring peace and normalcy in the state. This meeting marks a crucial part of his visit, symbolizing a bridge between the central and state governance structures in addressing the crisis.

His departure from the state later that evening will conclude a day of intense activity and strategic engagement, marking his first visit to Manipur since the last Lok Sabha elections. During those elections, the Congress party secured victories in both constituencies of Manipur, a state that has been grappling with ethnic conflicts and violence. O Ibobi Singh stressed, “This marks Gandhi’s third visit to Manipur since the outbreak of violence last year, showcasing his continuing commitment to the state and its people.”

While the visit is poised as a significant political move, it also brings with it a beacon of hope for many residents who have been caught in the crossfire of ongoing violence. Gandhi’s itinerary reflects a blend of political strategy and humanitarian concern, aiming to address both immediate relief needs as well as long-term peace initiatives in the troubled region. With security meticulously arranged and local administrations fully engaged, the visit is set to be a landmark event in the contemporary political landscape of Manipur.