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Manipur tribal forum moves Supreme Court fearing fresh outbreak of violence against Kuki-Zo community after Lok Sabha elections

The Manipur Tribal Forum has filed a plea in the Supreme Court apprehending a fresh outbreak of violence against tribals of the Kuki-Zo community in the northeastern state after the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

The application mentioned that over the last six months, the Kuki-Zo community of the state has witnessed first-hand the full arming of assailant groups. Furthermore, it claimed that one of these groups, the Arambai Tenggol, has threatened to annihilate the Kukis. It also alleged that Dattatray Padsaligikar, the Maharashtra police officer appointed by the apex court to oversee some of the probes in the previous round of violence, has not been cooperative.

The petitioner stated that the interim application has been filed for urgent reliefs in respect of a series of very brutal attacks on the Kuki-Zo community. It asserted that though repeated notes have been submitted to the DGP Padsaligikar, no actions seems to have been taken in the passage of time.

Mentioning that five notes have been sent to the DGP about the recent cases of violence and arms grabs, the petitioner claimed that the victim community has been left in the dark while the assailants are roaming free. The forum further claimed that no action has been taken on the alleged beheading of a Kuki boy.

Through the plea, the petitioner has sought the arrest of the leaders of the Arambai Tenggol and Meetei Leepun to prevent acts of severe violence against the Kuki-Zo community. It also sought the arrest of S Premchandra Singh for beheading a Kuki boy. It also sought direction to the Manipur government to immediately disclose full details in terms of criminal complaints, investigations, arrests made, court orders secured and chargesheets prepared with respect to the deaths of 170 Kukis and violence against women.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court is currently seized of a batch of pleas related to the violence in Manipur. The court had earlier constituted an all-woman judicial committee led by former Jammu & Kashmir High Court Chief Justice Gita Mittal to monitor the probe being conducted into the violence.

Chief Justice DY Chandrachud had, however, made it clear that the apex court does not aim to delve into every detail of administration of the state. Earlier in November 2023, the Court had ordered the Manipur government to ensure decent and dignified burial of the unidentified and unclaimed bodies. In August, 2023, it directed Padsaligikar to oversee the police probes in cases of sexual violence.

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