Manipur Situation

Manipur Violence: SC Seeks Fresh Status Report On Security Measures

Manipur Situation

The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the State of Manipur to file a fresh status report on all the security, relief and rehabilitation efforts made for the people affected by the violence between Meitei and Kuki communities.

A bench of Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud and Justices PS Narasimha and JB Pardiwala that maintaining law and order is a State subject and as the Supreme Court, it will ensure that the political executive does not turn a blind eye to the matter.
“We can’t say who is responsible for this… law and order is a State subject. We as the apex court can ensure they don’t turn a blind eye. We must as a court also understand that some matters are entrusted to the political arm,” said the CJI.

Centre and the State government told the top court that a status report has been filed and the situation had improved in the State.

In its status report, the government said a total of 318 relief camps have been opened where more than 47,914 persons have been given relief. A total of 626 FIRs have been registered so far.

“The provision for ration, food, water and medical care & medicines are being arranged by the District Magistrates with Sub-Divisional Magistrates, Executive Magistrates and District level Officers of concerned line Departments by deputing responsible Officers.

The state government had also sanctioned a contingent fund of Rs. 3 crore for meeting exigencies in providing relief measures, it added. The State government had taken the decision to earmark 25 per cent of the MLA Local Area Development Fund for relief measures in respective Assembly Constituencies, the affidavit further stated.

The affidavit said, “State Home Department had issued instructions to DGP and all District SSP to register FIRS of all reported cases irrespective of jurisdiction and also to take up action on suo motu basis for incidents within its jurisdiction. A total of 626 FIRs have been registered so far. The administration has also taken away fire arms from a large number of persons 1,070 arms, 27,110 ammunition and further recovered a large number of firearms 456 arms, 6,819 ammunition.”

The bench also said it will not deal with the legal issues arising out of the Manipur High Court’s decision, directing the State government to recommend to the Centre the inclusion of the Meitei community in the Scheduled Tribe list, as the pleas challenging the order were pending in the larger division bench there.

The top court took into account the security apprehensions of Meitei and Kuki communities and ordered that the Chief Secretary and his Security Advisor will assess and take steps to ensure “peace and tranquillity” in the State.

It said that tribals could move the division bench of the Manipur High Court with their grievances on the quota issue.

The bench further questioned Manipur High Court for its order asking the State government to recommend to the Centre the inclusion of Meitei in the ST list.

The CJI remarked, “We have to stay the order of the Manipur High Court. It is completely factually wrong and we gave time to Justice Muralidharan to remedy his error and he did not. We have to take a strong view against it now. It is clear if the High Court judges do not follow Constitution bench judgments then what should we do… it is very clear.”

The bench did not impose any stay and took into note that an appeal has been filed before the division bench of the High Court against the judgment of the single judge and the next date of hearing is June 6 there. It said aggrieved parties can present their case before the division bench.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appearing for the Centre and Manipur government said an application was filed before the single judge to grant an extension of time and the judge has granted time for considering a direction to send a recommendation by one year.

He said considering the position on the ground, the government chose not to seek a stay of the order and only seek an extension, because it would have an impact on the situation on the ground.

“In all fairness, it was the decision of the government to only ask for extension, because it’s one tribe versus another,” Solicitor General added.

Senior advocate Ranjit Kumar appearing for one of the petitioners for the Meitei community said the illegal immigrants are coming from Myanmar and they are wanting to settle in Manipur.

They are involved in poppy cultivation and that is how these militant camps are growing therein. This is the larger problem leading to the situation and militant camps are coming out of Myanmar, he added.

Solicitor General agreed with Kumar and said “concern about illegal immigrants from Myanmar is correct”.

The bench now posted the matter for hearing in July first week.

Earlier, the top court expressed concern over the loss of lives and properties in Manipur during the violence between the Meitei and Kuki communities and stressed taking adequate measures to restore normalcy there.

The apex court was hearing a batch of pleas relating to the violence in Manipur.

On March 27, the High Court directed the State to consider the inclusion of the Meitei community in the Scheduled Tribes list.

The violence in Manipur between the Hindu Meiteis and the tribal Kuki, who are Christians, erupted after a rally by the All Tribal Students Union of Manipur (ATSUM) on May 3.

Violence has gripped the entire state for several days and the Central government had to deploy paramilitary forces to bring the situation under control. (ANI)

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