Supreme Court Seeks Updated Status Report on Manipur Violence, Directs Measures to Curb Unrest

New Delhi: The Supreme Court, on Monday, requested an updated status report from the State of Manipur regarding the current situation and measures taken to address the violence in the state. The bench, consisting of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justices PS Narasimha, and Manoj Misra, directed the state government to provide information on rehabilitation camps, arms recovery, and the overall law and order situation. The bench scheduled the matter for a hearing on July 10 and urged the government to file a detailed status report.

The apex court was hearing a petition filed by the Manipur Tribal Forum, Delhi, which sought the protection of the Kuki tribe by the Indian Army. Senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, representing the Manipur Tribal Forum, informed the bench that the situation in Manipur had deteriorated.

The Solicitor General of India, representing the state, countered by stating that the situation was gradually improving. He mentioned that the curfew had been reduced to five hours per day, indicating a positive development. He also highlighted the deployment of various law enforcement agencies, including the Civil Police, Manipur Commandos, Indian Reserve Battalions, and 114 companies of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs), in the violence-affected areas of Manipur.

During the proceedings, the Solicitor General cautioned advocate Gonsalves against introducing any communal angle to the issue. He emphasized that the focus should remain on addressing the challenges faced by all individuals, regardless of religious affiliations.

Gonsalves alleged that a leader from the Meitei group had openly threatened the Kukis during an interview hosted by Karan Thapar. He further claimed that the Meiteis, the dominant group, were responsible for recent acts of violence, including the beheading of three tribals. Gonsalves insisted that the Kukis were defending themselves in their villages while armed groups were crossing the lines.

The counsel representing the Meiteis Organization called for an investigation into the source of assault weapons and the militant groups behind the violence. He raised concerns about the sudden availability of such weapons and stressed the need for an accurate count of militants. He urged the Union of India to address these aspects.

The Manipur Tribal Forum, in an interlocutory application, expressed dissatisfaction with the assurances given by the Centre and State governments, considering them to be false and non-serious. The forum requested the Indian Army’s protection, citing a lack of trust in the State and its police force. The application sought the intervention of the Indian Army to take full control of law and order in specific districts of Manipur.

The Supreme Court has taken cognizance of the cases related to the violence in Manipur and has asked for status reports from both the Centre and State governments regarding relief and rehabilitation efforts for those affected by the conflict between the Meitei and Kuki communities. The court has previously expressed concern over the loss of lives and property during the violence and stressed the importance of restoring normalcy.

The ongoing violence in Manipur between the Meiteis, who are Hindus, and the Kukis, who are Christians, began after a rally organized by the All Tribal Students Union of Manipur (ATSUM) on May 3. The situation has persisted for over a month, prompting the Central government to deploy paramilitary forces to restore order.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *