Manipur: On May 8, a petition was urgently listed to be heard by a Bench led by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud. The petition was filed by a Delhi-based body for Manipur tribal communities seeking the formation of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to investigate the attacks and violence that has taken place in the northeastern state. The Manipur Tribal Forum, through its advocates Satya Mitra and Colin Gonsalves, stated that the situation in the state was extreme and that the attacks had the full support of the party in power in the state as well as the central government, which supports the dominant group and has planned the attacks on account of a non-secular agenda.
According to the petition, the attacks have spread to Delhi and Meghalaya, with armed groups seen roving with semi-automatic weapons, doing house searches, and burning down churches. The forum has alleged that 41 churches have been razed to the ground, and 30 tribals have been killed by the dominant community, with 132 injured. The police force is alleged to be on the side of the dominant community, and no investigation has taken place.
The Manipur Tribal Forum has asked the apex court to order a team to be put together to conduct an inquiry into the villages burnt and assess the value of property destroyed in the violence, and the state should be directed to compensate the people and reconstruct the churches. It has also urged the court to direct an SIT to be headed by a former DGP of Assam to investigate and prosecute the crimes.
The tribal body has also alleged that the conditions faced by tribal people sheltered in six CRPF camps are “deplorable and pathetic,” and has sought a direction to take the tribal people back to their homes in the hill districts. The Bench will also hear a separate petition filed by Chairman of the Hill Areas Committee (HAC) of the Manipur Legislative Assembly, Dinganglung Gangmei, who has challenged a State High Court order to grant Scheduled Tribe status to the Meitei community. The petition alleged that the High Court order led to the Meitei-Kuki clashes in Manipur.