New Delhi: On the day when Manipur chief minister N. Biren Singh announced that he would not resign from post, Biren appears to have engaged in spats with Twitter users who criticised him, calling them “Kukis” and “belonging to Myanmar” and then deleted the tweets.
These exchanges took place on the evening of June 30, Friday, and were deleted soon after. The Indian Express has reported that a member of Biren’s social media team denied that the tweets had been written either by him or his team. Which begs the question of who is running his official Twitter handle.
Scroll.in published screenshots of three tweets where Biren is seen engaging with critics:
In one, he purportedly writes “Are you from India or Myanmar?” to a person whose name is ‘Thang Kuki’ on Twitter and who tells him, “You should have resigned long time ago.”
To another person who tells him that there is a huge population of Meitei people in Burma as well, Biren purportedly says, “Meitei in Myanmar never ask their homeland in Myanmar (sic).”
In reply to another person who asks him to resign as “Manipur is burning for the last 60 days,” Biren’s Twitter handle says, “Don’t bark without knowing the ground realities, mainland will not understand the complexity of Myanmar border Indian state.”
The Indian Express reported on another instance.
When a Twitter user wrote, “At this critical juncture, I wish to clarify that I am now a citizen of Zalengam,” Biren’s account wrote, “Can be in Myanmar.”
Zalengam is a reference to the name for a proposed Kuki nation of Kuki-inhabited territories across countries.
Additionally, when a Twitter user said the situation in Manipur would have been different had Biren acted promptly, his official handle said, “How? Did the ATSUM announce that they will attack Meiteis during rallies?”.
Meanwhile the Indian Express has reported that defence secretary Giridhar Aramane made a two-day visit to Myanmar to meet its senior leadership to discuss issues of maintaining peace in border area.
Biren was reportedly on the verge of resigning on June 30, but reportedly decided to go back on the decision under public pressure. What appeared to be his torn resignation letter emerged on social media.
At this crucial juncture, I wish to clarify that I will not be resigning from the post of Chief Minister.
— N.Biren Singh (@NBirenSingh) June 30, 2023
Ethnic violence which began in early May has led to the deaths of nearly 200 people and displaced over 60,000. Singh has been on the receiving end of much criticism over his handling of the violence.