Image source: Bar and Bench
The Interlocutory Application (IA) submitted by the Manipur Tribal Forum was not urgently listed by the Supreme Court vacation bench, which comprised Justice Surya Kant and Justice MM Sundresh. The court ruled that the case had to be heard on July 3, rejecting a request to be heard today or tomorrow.
The situation in Manipur and the authorities take:
Senior Advocate Colin Gonsalves brought up the issue and emphasized its importance. He claimed that despite government promises to stop the violence, 70 tribe members had died. He warned that additional tribal members might perish if the court did not hear the case immediately.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta replied that similar prayers were made before the vacations and that security agencies are on the ground. The court decided to hear the pleas after the vacation only.
.The tribal welfare body claimed in its plea submitted on June 9 that 81 additional Kuki tribe members had been killed and 31,410 Kukis had been relocated since the matter’s last hearing before the Supreme Court.
In addition, the Court was informed that 141 villages had been demolished, 237 churches and 73 administrative buildings had been set on fire. It emphasized how inaccurate the media’s portrayal of the violence as a conflict between two indigenous populations was. The forum has claimed that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the ruling party in power, is supporting the assailants.
IA Pleas :
Image source: The Hindu
The IA requests instructions be sent to the Indian Army so they can fully take over the situation concerning law and order and public order in the districts of Churachanpur, Imphal East, Chandel, Kangpokpi, and Imphal West. It further requests the formation of an SIT to conduct an impartial investigation and bring charges against those guilty of the attacks on the tribal community in Manipur.
Additionally, the IA requests a court order mandating the filing of FIRs against M Pramod Singh, President of the “Meitei Leepun,” and Kourounganba Khuman, Head of the “Arambai Tenggol.” The next of kin of the Tribals killed in the assaults are among the recipients of the joint restitution request made to the Union of India and the State of Manipur.
The court remarked that the issue is serious but this is purely a law and order situation and thus court is not required to pass any army intervention.
The administration’s efforts to restore peace to the State were given the court’s confidence. The Bench made the verbal remark, “They are doing it.”
Despite Senior Advocate Gonsalves’ pleading that Supreme Court remains the last hope for the tribals, the court still refuses to hear before the reopening.
A wave of violence between the two communities broke out in May after a tribal Kuki group staged a protest in opposition to a contentious high court ruling that considered adding the dominant and politically powerful Meitei community to the Scheduled Tribes (ST) list. 40,000 people have been forced to flee their homes as a result of the violence.
On May 8, the Manipur government assured the Supreme Court that concerns about the ongoing violence would be taken into account and that proactive measures would be taken to resolve them.
The Court had then urged proper preparations to be made in relief camps as well as the essential safety measures to protect places of worship and to help displaced people.
Later, the Union Home Ministry established a committee to look further into the case, which was chaired by former Chief Justice of the Gauhati High Court, Ajay Lamba. This arrangement is unacceptable, according to the forum’s IA, because it was made without considering the tribals that are the victims.