Manipur violence: EU Parliament “denounces the nationalistic rhetoric deployed by leading members of the BJP party”

European Parliament adopts a motion on the Manipur violence, condemning the violence and property destruction, meanwhile Indian government claims it to be an “internal matter.”

On July 12, the European Parliament adopted a motion on the Manipur violence, and stated that it “denounces in the strongest terms nationalistic rhetoric deployed by leading members of the BJP party”. The Indian government did not take much time before responding to the said motion, claiming that the issue of Manipur is an “internal matter.” This comes a few days before Prime Minister Modi is bound to heads to France, from July 13-14, at the invitation of French President Emmanuel Macron.

In order to discuss incidents of violations of human rights, democracy, and the rule of law at its current plenary session in Strasbourg, France, the Parliament had included a discussion on the ethnic riots in Manipur in its agenda. As per the report of the Indian Express, the “motion for a European Parliament resolution on India, the situation in Manipur” called on the EU to “place human rights and democratic values at the heart of its engagement with India.”

In its resolution condemning the bloodshed, violence, and property destruction in Manipur, the EU Parliament stated that it denounces in the strongest terms nationalistic rhetoric deployed by leading members of the Bharatiya Janata Party.”

The Parliament further called for the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) to be withdrawn from the region as well as the restoration of internet services.

While the Indian government, unsurprisingly, responded by claiming that the matter is entirely internal, the EU Parliament, in its harsh criticism of the country’s conditions, stated that minorities, civil society, human rights defenders and journalists regularly face harassment; whereas women in particular face severe challenges and violations of their rights often related to tribal and religious backgrounds, including sexual violence and harassment, as per the report of the Indian Express.

The resolution also noted that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights had urged India to protect the rights of human rights defenders in October 2020, expressing concern over the constricting space for civil society and taking note of claims made by human rights organisations that the BJP was engaging in “divisive ethno-nationalistic policies.”

The resolution stated “Whereas violence in India’s Manipur state has erupted along ethnic and religious lines between the mainly Hindu Meitei community and the Christian Kuki tribe, leading to a cycle of violence with over 100 people killed, over 40,000 displaced and the destruction of property and places of worship. Whereas Manipur has previously faced secessionist insurgencies in which serious human rights abuses were committed. Whereas, in the latest round of violence human rights groups have accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led government in Manipur and nationally of implementing divisive ethno-nationalistic policies which oppress in particular religious minorities,” the resolution said.

As provided in the Indian Express report, the EU Parliament had called on to Indian government and local authorities to “to allow unhindered humanitarian aid to those effected, and for independent monitors to carry out investigations’, for political leaders to cease inflammatory statements in order to re-establish trust and play an impartial role to mediate the tensions and the initiation of mediation efforts by both the Centre as well as the state government.”



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