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Supreme Court emphasizes sensitivity and state government's responsibility in addressing ethnic violence in Manipur

By Harshvardhan Sharma      11 July, 2023 11:44 PM      0 Comments
Supreme Court emphasizes sensitivity and state government's responsibility in addressing ethnic violence in Manipur

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday made it categorical that it would not let its platform to escalate the situation in Manipur affected with ethnic violence and neither would take over the law and order apparatus which is responsibility of the state government.

A bench of Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice P S Narasimha asked senior advocate Colin Gonsalves to come up with some positive situation as the counsel sought to blame the state government for killings of Christian Kukis tribes.

The bench decided to consider the matter on Tuesday.

The Manipur government, for its part, asked the court that the matter with regard on ethnic violence should be dealt with utmost sensitivity as any misinformation or rumour or even suspicion may aggravate the situation as things are slowly returning to normalcy with great efforts from the central as well as the state government.

"If one-sided arguments are being portrayed in the court - with the advent of live reporting, there is a possibility of the same affecting the public order in the state of Manipur. It is therefore desirable that the parties may not argue referring to the names of the tribes, religion, etc which may have an adverse impact on the ground, whether intended or not," it said.

"The matter may be taken up by the Petitioners and other parties with utmost sensitivity," it submitted.

The state government also said it is putting best effort in safeguarding rights and security of all inhabitants irrespective of caste, creed, religion and tribe or community and taking into account claims of all communities in a holistic manner to bring normalcy in the state at the earliest.

Over 120 people have been killed and hundreds others left injured in the violence in the state.

In an updated status report, the state government sought permission from the court for taking its own recourse to take up possible steps to bring normalcy in the state after exercising due diligence and without interference in terms of legal, security, political intervention, dialogue, rehabilitation, resettlement, compensation, etc.

It also said the central government has constituted a Commission of Inquiry headed by Justice Ajay Lamba, former Chief Justice of Guahati High Court for the purpose of making an inquiry into a definite matter of public importance, namely, incidents of violence.

"The genesis of the present conflict will be investigated by the Commission of Enquiry and a fact-based conclusion as to the causes will be arrived at," it said.

As per the police report, around 5995 FIRs have been registered as of July 4, 2023 and are being investigated in connection with different allegations, mishappenings and offences that happened during the ongoing crises. Six important FIRs had been transferred to CBI for investigation independently and with transparency, it said.

"Special Helicopter Service started for Churachandpur, Kangpokpi and Tengnoupal Districts at a nominal cost of Rs 2000. Additional doctors were deputed by Health Ministry from neighboring states to assist with provisioning of medical facilities in relief camps. Reconstruction of lost documents- Aadhaar, Health Cards, Bank Passbooks, etc has started. Livelihood generating activities such as candle making, incense sticks making etc have also been taken up in the camps," it said.

As on July 4, 354 relief camps are operational in the affected areas with amenities and medical care made available for the convenience of the inmates.

The state government also said ex-Gratia of Rs 10.00 lakhs (50% state & 50% from central scheme for assistance to civilian victims - CSACV) for the dead while Rs 2.00 Lakh for grievous injuries Rs 25000 for non-grievous injuries has been earmarked.

A sum of Rs 2 lakh for the families of those whose houses have been burnt down is being provided after assessment, it said.

"Out a total of 241 bank branches in the State, 218 have been opened as on 06.07.2023. Efforts are being made to make the remaining 23 branches operational at the earliest. Out of 396 ATMs, 320 are functioning. Banks have been requested to make all-out efforts to ensure that the remaining 70 ATMs are also made functional at the earliest," it said.

The state government also submitted that security deployment is being planned, implemented and reviewed on a daily basis by the Security Advisor to the Government of Manipur.

So as supply of essential goods and fuels was concerned, the state government said, 7,158 trucks and oil tankers have so far carried materials from Jiribam into the State as well as Districts (from 1st June 2023 till 4th July 2023). Furthermore, adequate security arrangements have made to secure the highways for maintaining uninterrupted supply of essential commodities in the State.

As much as 30,000 MT of rice was allotted by the central government through Food Corporation of India (FCI) for sale at Rs 32/Kg. Moreover, in order to control prices of essential commodities in the market, 30 Trucks of Onion/ Potato were bought from National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (NAFED).

With regard to education, the state government said school going students staying in relief camps have been identified, and efforts are underway to link them to the nearest school possible. In this regard, schools for Classes I to VI have been opened with effect from 5th July, 2023. Furthermore, except 96 schools where relief measures are still operational, all schools have been asked to open, subject to assessment of local situation.

The state government also said competitive exams like UPSC, NEET (UG), CUET (UG), CUET (PG) and semester examinations of Manipur University have been conducted with due flexibility ensuring participation of inhabitants of all districts.

It also said guidelines for management of Relief Camps have been released and District Administration instructed to adhere to the same. Basic minimum facility for the camps have been highlighted to maintain uniformity in camp operations. It is stated that these include measures to be taken for setup of the camps, care for especially abled, women, lactating mothers, old age etc.

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