New Delhi: The Privilege and Ethics Committee of the Manipur assembly has showcaused the 10 Kuki-Zomi MLAs who had demanded a separate administration for a group of ethnic communities after brutal ethnic violence in the state.
The Hindu has reported that the Committee has asked for an explanation from the MLAs as to why they made the demand and have set June 16 as the deadline for them to respond.
These MLAs include leaders of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, including two ministers of the N. Biren Singh government.
As The Wire had reported before, the MLAs had urged the Union government to carve out a “separate administration” under the Indian constitution and let people from their community “live peacefully as neighbours with the state of Manipur”. They had also met Union home minister Amit Shah to forward this demand. The clashes in Manipur had begun following a court’s direction to the government to consider according the majority Meitei community Scheduled Tribe status.
The signatories were Haokholet Kipgen (Independent MLA, Saitu ); Kimneo Haokip Hangshing (KPA MLA, Saikul ); L M Khaute (BJP MLA, Churachandpur); Chinlungthang (KPA MLA, Singngat); Nemcha Kipgen (BJP MLA, Kangpokpi); Ngursanglur Sanate (BJP MLA, Tipaimukh); Letpao Haokip (BJP MLA, Tengnoupal); Letzamang Haokip (BJP MLA, Henglep); Paolienlal Haokip (BJP MLA, Saikot) and Vungjagin Valte (BJP MLA, Thanton).
Among them, Thanton MLA Valte had been injured in the clashes that broke out on May 3. Traces of the violence and arms looting since then are being felt even now. On June 4, a seven-year-old boy, his mother and a neighbour were killed in Imphal West’s Iroisemba area, while the young boy was being taken to hospital after being hit by a bullet splinter at the Assam Rifles camp where his family was staying. Close to 100 people have lost their lives, many more were injured and tens of thousands were displaced.
The Biren administration has been accused of serious failure to contain the violence.
According to the Hindu report, Sapam Nishikant Singh, chairman of the PEC, said members of the panel deliberated on two complaints by “local residents”. One complaint had allegedly been lodged to the assembly speaker against the 10 MLAs and the other against Saikul MLA Hangshing, one of the signatories.