Manipur Violence: SC bench seeks updated status report from State on rehabilitation, law & order situation

Sr. Adv. Colin Gonsalves claimed that the situation in Manipur has worsened, no police action despite open calls for violence made against the Kuki community

On Monday, the first day the Supreme Court was back in session after their vacation, a bench consisting of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justice PS Narasimha, and Justice Manoj Misra sought for an update on the situation regarding the violent intercommunity clashes that broke out in the State of Manipur in the last week of March. The State was ordered by the Court to update the position on rehabilitation camps, the recovery of weapons, and law and order. Earlier, the Supreme Court vacation bench comprising Justice Surya Kant and Justice MM Sundresh had declined to urgently list the IA filed by the Manipur Tribal Forum in the vacations and has listed the same for today, that is, July 3, 2023. The matter will be taken up again on next Monday.

The said bench was considering two petitions, the first of which was a petition filed by the Manipur Tribal Forum Delhi seeking the protection of the Kuki tribe by the Indian Army. The Manipur Tribal Forum’s IA had claimed that the Kukis are being ethnically cleansed by an armed communal organisation, prays for the protection of the tribe by the Indian Army since the State and its Police force are not trusted by the tribals.

The other petition was filed by Chairman of the Hill Areas Committee (HAC) of the Manipur Legislative Assembly, Dinganglung Gangmei, challenging the direction of the Manipur High Court to consider the inclusion of Meitei community in the Scheduled Tribe list. It is essential to note here that the issue related to assigning the Scheduled Tribe status for Meitei had triggered the riots in the state. It was argued in Gangmei’s petition that directing the state government to recommend a tribe for the Scheduled Tribes List does not fall within the jurisdiction of the High Court.

Senior advocate Dr. Colin Gonsalves, who was representing the Manipur Tribal Forum, stated that things had gotten worse in Manipur than it was earlier. To this, the Solicitor General of India disagreed, stating that the situation is steadily improving as a result of the deployment of sufficient armed personnel and the establishment of relief camps. The curfew has been lowered to 5 hours each day, which is an improvement, he continued.

“My learned friend may not give this a communal angle- like Christians or something. Real human beings are being dealt with”, SG had further stated, as reported by LiveLaw.

Disagreeing further, Advocate Gonsalves stated to the court that despite the State’s previous guarantees and assurances, the situation has “escalated.” He added that there were 20 murders as of the date of the last hearing, but the said has now gone up to 110. He claimed that numerous terrorist group leaders were publicly urging the eradication of the Kukis, and no police action has been taken against them despite the fact that there were open calls for violence. Adv. Gonsalves also mentioned that one leader appeared in a Karan Thapar interview and made direct threats against Kukis. According to Gonsalves, these militant organisations are “state sponsored.”

“As long as these armed groups are not disbanded and allowed to go and kill, there will be an escalation of violence. Last night, 3 tribals killed and 1 beheaded, first beheading of tribals. These are the Meities, they are the dominant group. I have given a list of all the hundreds of Kukis who have been killed village wise. The Kukis are not attacking. The Kukis are in the villages defending. The Meities are defending. The armed groups are crossing the lines. Once they cross the line, the women gather in large numbers and stop the army. The army has released two press statements that they are not allowed to do their duty and protect the people”, Gonsalves stated, as reported by LiveLaw.

Another counsel, appearing for the International Meities Organization, said that there should be an investigation into the source of assault weapons and the militant groups behind the violence. “The suspicion is that the militants have come out of the shelters and are fighting, otherwise how will you explain the assault weapons? There should be a headcount of the militants. Union of India should look into this aspect”, the counsel had said, as reported by Livelaw. The Court asked the SG to take specific instructions on this aspect as well.

Earlier status report of the state

In May, the bench led by CJI DY Chandrachud had called for a status report from the State regarding the security measures and relief camps. Following the order, the State submitted a status report in the third week of May, stating:

  1. 62 companies of CAPF and 126 columns of army/Assam rifles have been deployed for assisting in the area domination, sanitisation, and maintenance of law and order situation in the state.
  2. A total of 318 relief camps have been opened where more than 47914 persons have been given relief.
  3. Specific security measures are being taken in every district and every locality as per the needs of this specific area. The district police, CAPF, CDO, and VDF are being deployed in various areas. The patrols are doing regular patrolling and round-the-clock security is being deployed in general and religious places by way of foot patrolling.
  4. Free passage of people from relief/safe locations to airport/native places is taking place and about 3124 people have been helped through flights.
  5. The state home department has issued instructions to DGP and all district SSP to register FIR’s of all reported cases irrespective of jurisdiction.



One in Manipur, another in Kashmir: Veterans slam two faces of Indian Army

Dismiss Manipur govt, safe passage for internally displaced, set up an Independent Tribunal: ICPA

Manipur is Burning but who cares?

Despite efforts, three delegations from violence-struck Manipur failed to meet PM Modi

Manipur Is Burning Because of BJP’s Divisive Politics: Civil Society Groups

Denial of internet an assault on fundamental freedoms – a deep dive into Manipur’s incessant internet ban

Manipur women stage protest at Jantar Mantar to end violence in state



Related Articles