New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday, July 3, ordered the Manipur government to file a “detailed status report” about the “situation on the ground” in the wake of the ongoing conflict in the state, which has now lasted over 50 days.
A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud said it will hear the matter next on Monday, July 10.
Meanwhile, solicitor general Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Manipur government, said the “situation is improving though slowly” and sought time to file an updated status report.
The court was hearing two petitions; one filed by the Manipur Tribal Forum Delhi, and the other by the chairman of Hill Areas Committee of the Manipur Legislative Assembly. While the first petitioner sought protection for the Kuki community, the second petitioner challenged the Manipur high court’s decision to consider the inclusion of the Meitei community under the Scheduled Tribe category, Livelaw.in reported.
“Let’s have an updated status report from the SG. We are not adjourning it for a long time…So we want to know what steps have been taken on the ground…Give us a detailed status report,” the CJI said orally, according to Indian Express.
The CJI said the status report must include steps being taken for rehabilitation camps, recovery of arms, law and order, among others.
The court also directed the solicitor general to “take specific instructions” on allegations by the ‘International Meitie Organisation’ that “members of the militant organisations with whom the Centre has a deal for suspension of operations may also be involved in the violence and that the assault rifles and sniper rifles being used may be coming from these militants”, the IE report said.
To this, the solicitor general said, he may or may not include it in his report, but assured that he will take instructions. “Because there is a possibility of some source (for the arms) other than the one indicated by the Meitie Organisation counsel,” Mehta said.
He also said 114 companies of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF), 184 columns of the Army, and several personnel of the Manipur Rifles Commandos have been on the ground to ensure peace. He added that 355 relief camps are operating in the state.
In defence of his statement that the situation is improving, he said that curfew has been reduced to only five hours a day, adding that “so there is an improvement….”
The solicitor general also requested the counsel, appearing on behalf of Kuki outfits, not to give any “communal spin” to the situation in the state, adding that “human beings are being dealt with”.