Alleging the Manipur government of preventing the visit of the Congress Fact Finding Team, the District Congress Committee Sadar Hills has vehemently condemned the alleged insensitivity of the Manipur state government.
It may be mentioned that Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge had constituted a three-member fact-finding team to ascertain the causes of widespread violence in Manipur and evaluate its extent.
The three-member team includes AICC General Secretary MP Mukul Wasnik, former MP Ajoy Kumar, and party MLA Sudip Roy Barman.
The Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee Vice President, Dr. Lamtinthang Haokip, while briefing the media during a press conference on Friday at Kangpokpi organized by the District Congress Committee Sadar Hills, said that the decision of the BJP government in preventing the visit of the Central fact-finding team of the All India Congress Committee to internally review displaced people both in the hills and valley on May 18 displayed a blatant disregard for transparency, accountability, and the welfare of the citizens of Manipur.
Strongly condemning the alleged "insensitivity" of the government, Dr Haokip said that the purpose of a fact-finding team is to independently assess and investigate situations that demand urgent attention while adding that their presence ensures an impartial evaluation of the situation, which is crucial in promoting justice and ensuring the protection of human rights.
"The denial of their visit undermines the principles of democracy, undermines public trust, and raises serious concerns about the actions and intentions of the State Government", he asserted.
He also said that the role of a fact-finding team is even more critical and necessary in times of crisis like this and the people affected by this violence and ensuing circumstances have the right to have their voices heard, and it is the duty of the government to facilitate a fair and transparent assessment of the ground situation.
He then said that by preventing the Central Fact-Finding Team from conducting their investigation, the State Government has hindered justice and obstructed the path to truth.
He continued that the decision to debar the Central Fact-Finding Team sent a distressing message to the citizens of Manipur and the nation as a whole while adding that it also created an environment of suspicion, secrecy, and a lack of accountability.
The State Government must recognize that transparency and accountability are the cornerstones of a functioning democracy and any attempts to suppress or hinder them will only further erode people's confidence, he asserted.
The MPCC Vice President also said that it is imperative that any central team from different political parties be granted the necessary support, resources, and cooperation to carry out their duties effectively while adding that the truth and justice demanded by the affected citizens cannot be compromised or suppressed for political expediency or any other reasons.
The District Congress Committee Sadar Hills urged the Central Government and relevant national and international organizations to take cognizance of this alarming situation and intervene to ensure that the rights of the citizens of Manipur are protected as per the law of the land.
It stated that the denial of access to the Central Fact-Finding Team of any political party is a gross violation of fundamental human rights and must not be tolerated.
In this critical juncture, Congress stands in solidarity with the affected individuals and communities in their pursuit of justice, truth, and accountability, it added.
It further stated that Congress will be deterred, however, continue to advocate for transparency, impartial investigations, and the protection of human rights.
It then stated that the actions of the State Government are unacceptable, and therefore, it demands immediate rectification to uphold the principles of justice and democracy.