15 Jun 2023 8:46 AM GMT
The Manipur Tribal Forum has filed a fresh Interlocutory Application (IA) in the Supreme Court stating that the court shall not rely on the "empty assurances" of the Union of India (UOI) as both the UOI and the Chief Minister of the State of Manipur "have embarked jointly on a communal agenda for the ethnic cleansing of the Kukis."Saying that the Kukis are being ethnically cleansed by an...
The Manipur Tribal Forum has filed a fresh Interlocutory Application (IA) in the Supreme Court stating that the court shall not rely on the "empty assurances" of the Union of India (UOI) as both the UOI and the Chief Minister of the State of Manipur "have embarked jointly on a communal agenda for the ethnic cleansing of the Kukis."
Saying that the Kukis are being ethnically cleansed by an armed communal organisation, the IA 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 organization argues that despite assurances given by the Solicitor General in the last hearing, no relief has been granted so far. The IA states–
"After the giving of these assurances over 81 Kukis were killed, 237 churches and 73 administration building/quarter were burnt and 141 villages destroyed and 31410 Kukis displaced from their homes. The assurances of the authorities are not useful anymore and made in a non- serious fashion and are not even intended to be implemented."
The forum also expressed disappointment with the assurances given by the Union Home Minister.
"Just like the assurances given by the Counsel for UOI were empty and meaningless and made with no intention of being honoured, the assurances of the Home Minister it is hoped will not be the same. The Home Minister has to do more than to mechanically repeat assurances given in other situations at other times. The Home Minister must convince the Tribals of Manipur that he is sincere".
The forum expressed no-confidence with the commission of inquiry constituted by the Centre under the head of former Gauhati HC CJ Ajai Lamba and prayed that it be quashed and replaced by a single-member commission comprising former Delhi High Court Chief Justice and Law Commission chairperson, AP Shah.
It further contends that the "clash" between the two communities, Meiteis and the tribals, as portrayed in the media is far from the truth as the two communities have co-existed with one another despite their differences. It adds–
"The “clash” narrative camouflages the presence of these two groups behind all the attacks and renders them immune from prosecution thereby emboldening them to carry on further attacks. Unless the members of these groups and their leaders are arrested and prosecuted, any semblance of peace will be fragile."
Through the IA, the forum has alleged that the two groups behind all attacks are the "Arambai Tenggol", a group that has the backing of State machinery and the "Meitei Leepun" an organisation with Meitei nationalist agenda.
The IA highlights the need for cold storage and immediate autopsy of piling dead bodies in the State. It further argues on the inadequacy of the relief camps set in the State. As per the Forum, senior politicians at the Centre and the State are involved in drug trade and are constantly making allegations against destitute cultivators. It adds–
"One prominent drug lord is a relative of the former Chief Minister of Manipur. The other prominent drug lord is a relative of the present Chief Minister...There are also brown sugar/heroin manufacturing facilities in Thoubal district, where the poppy produce is converted to brown sugar/heroin. All this is controlled by the politicians in power at the State and all this information is well known to the Central Government."
While providing with testimonies of four victims of the violence in the State, the forum attempts to establish that the law and order situation in the State is not improving as it is still in the hands of the State Government run by the CM who belongs to the dominant community.
The IA prays for directions to be passed to the Indian Army to take full control of the law and order and public order situation in the districts of Churachanpur, Chandel, Kangpokpi, Impal East, and Imphal west. It further seeks for an SIT to be established to independently investigate and prosecute those responsible for the assaults on the tribal community in Manipur. The IA also prays for an order directing the registration of FIRs against Kourounganba Khuman head of the "Arambai Tenggol” and President of the“Meitei Leepun", M Pramot Singh. It also seeks joint reparation from the Union of India and the State of Manipur to be paid to the next of kin of the Tribals killed in the assaults, among other things.
The forum's IA was filed through Advocate Satya Mitra and drawn by Advocates Hetvi Patel and Kaoliangpou Kamei.
On May 8, Solicitor General had told the Supreme Court that normalcy is being restored in Manipur. On May 17, while taking note of a status report filed by the State regarding the security arrangements and relief camps, the Supreme Court had asked the law enforcement agencies to act on the apprehensions raised by the Manipur Tribal Forum regarding attacks.