In the wake of the recent sectarian violence in Manipur, the Supreme Court of India has sought a fresh status report from the state government regarding the steps taken to address the situation. The apex court took a stern view of a previous single-judge order from the Manipur High Court, which directed the state government to recommend granting Scheduled Tribe (ST) status to the Meitei community.
Highlighting that law and order is a state subject, the Supreme Court bench, consisting of Justices P S Narasimha and J B Pardiwala, emphasized its role in ensuring that the political executive does not turn a blind eye to the situation. The court expressed its concern over the loss of life and property in Manipur and urged both the central and state governments to intensify their relief and rehabilitation efforts for those affected by the ethnic violence in the northeastern state.
According to the state government’s status report submitted to the court, measures have been taken to provide relief to the affected individuals. Over 46,000 people have been rescued, and more than 3,000 stranded individuals have been transported to airports to facilitate their departure from the state. The violence, which erupted due to the demand for ST status by the Meitei community, has resulted in the deaths of more than 50 people during clashes between tribal groups residing in the Manipur hills and the Meitei community residing in the Imphal Valley.
The Supreme Court’s intervention underscores the significance of ensuring the safety and security of all citizens, regardless of their religious or ethnic background. The court has urged the authorities to protect places of worship, many of which were targeted during the mayhem, and to take prompt action to prevent any further escalation of violence.
The Manipur government now faces the task of providing an updated report to the Supreme Court detailing the specific actions taken to address the sectarian violence and mitigate its consequences. The court’s directive serves as a reminder to the state government to actively address the situation and work towards restoring peace and harmony in Manipur.
As the legal proceedings continue, it is hoped that the collaborative efforts of the judiciary, central government, and Manipur state government will lead to a swift resolution of the crisis, providing justice to the victims and ensuring the restoration of normalcy in the affected areas. The timely intervention of the Supreme Court will serve as a catalyst for comprehensive action to address the root causes of the violence and prevent its recurrence in the future.
The situation in Manipur remains closely monitored by the court and concerned authorities, demonstrating a commitment to upholding the principles of justice, peace, and equality for all citizens of India.