Amid the deepening crisis in Manipur, retired judge A Noutuneshwari has vehemently called on the state government to take swift legal action against the Director General of Police (DGP) Manipur and the Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) in charge of law and order.
Noutuneshwari, who is now practicing as a lawyer at the Manipur High Court after her retirement, has attributed the ongoing crisis in the state to a significant lapse in security and intelligence which as also admitted by the chief minister earlier.
Her remarks came during a sit-in protest organised by the legal fraternity under the banner of the All Manipur Bar Association (AMBA) ouside the Cheirap Court Complex in Imphal, demanding justice for all and the restoration of peace.
The sit-in demonstration aimed to restore a sense of brotherhood among all communities and ensure justice for every individual affected by the ongoing crisis.
Speaking to the media, the retired judge expressed her deep concern over the loss of numerous lives, extensive property destruction, and the displacement of thousands of people, all stemming from the failure in security and intelligence measures.
She emphasised the urgent need for the DGP of Manipur to implement strict measures to ensure an end to the violence between the Kuki and Meetei communities.
"Our collective desire is for peace," she added with determination.
2,875 FIRs lodged across various police stations in Manipur
Advocate P Premchand who also participated in the event, shed light on the lack of information regarding the number of FIRs filed by the Meetei community, particularly those who have been displaced. He clarified that each FIR represents a complaint from a household, rather than an individual.
Premchand strongly emphasised the importance of the government's awareness of the magnitude of grievances within the Meetei community as a consequence of the crisis.
He highlighted the staggering number of 2,875 FIRs lodged across various police stations in the state, stressing the urgent need for attention and action.
Furthermore, he raised concerns over certain police stations refusing to include the term "Kuki militants" in complaints, posing the question of what appropriate terminology should be used to describe individuals who possess illegal sophisticated weapons and carry out attacks on civilians.
With regards to the recent incidents of women blocking central forces' convoys in different parts of the state, he emphasised the one-sided nature and silence of the central forces during attacks by Kuki militants on civilians, which has led to such consequences.
Centre's silence over foreign elements
AMBA president Puyam Tomcha expressed his disappointment over the Central government's silence in response to reports of the involvement of Myanmarese in attacks on civilians in peripheral areas. He considered this external aggression and called on the central government to take serious note of the matter.
Tomcha issued a warning that if the government failed to take decisive action, the legal fraternity of Manipur, represented by AMBA, will not hesitate to approach the United Nations and seek intervention to restore peace in the state.
During the sit-in protest, demonstrators held up various placards conveying messages such as "Stop divide and rule policy," "Stop burning houses," "Bring normalcy to the state," "We demand peace," "Don't divide Manipur along communal lines," and "Gun culture is not a solution."
The protesters aimed to draw attention to the urgent need for peace and unity among the various communities in Manipur.
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