Amit Shah: Home minister Amit Shah said on Thursday that the Supreme Court has been informed of seven cases involving ethnic violence in Manipur that have been given to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). These cases include the May 4 mob assault on two women, which sparked outrage after a video of the incident went viral.
Viral Video Recorder Caught and Mobile Seized Amid Suspicions of Conspiracy
Home Minister Amit Shah gave a thorough overview of the Kuki-Meitei conflict from the 1990s to the current state of affairs in Manipur during a lengthy media conference. He revealed that the guy who recorded the popular video with the distraught Kuki women had been caught. Additionally, the mobile device that was used to record the video has been seized in order to look into what appears to be a potential plot to tarnish the Modi administration just ahead of the Parliament’s Monsoon session. Due to the discovery that two additional viral movies being shared on social media to exacerbate the situation in Manipur originate from events in Myanmar in 2022, the police have filed a formal complaint against them. “Six cases have already been sent to CBI, and the seventh is on its way. We want, for the sake of impartiality, trials in these cases to be held outside the state of Manipur,” Shah said. The home minister reported that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has been given three additional cases.
Union Administration Seeks Trial Relocation: Supreme Court Petitioned for Viral Video Case Outside Manipur
The Union administration requested that the Supreme Court move the trial in the viral video case out of the state in an affidavit that was submitted to the high court earlier in the day. Only the Supreme Court has the power to move trials from one state to another. Since May 3, ethnic tensions in Manipur have resulted in at least 147 fatalities and 40,000 displaced residents, effectively dividing the state in half between the Meitei community, which dominates the plains and accounts for 53% of the state’s population, and the tribal Kuki group, which makes up 16% of the state. A first information report (FIR) later identified the males in the video as members of Meitei groups. In the tape from May 4, two Kuki women were stripped of their clothing and made to parade naked, according to Shah. The minister stated that it appeared from the cell phone used to capture the pictures that there had been a plot to discredit the government ahead of the monsoon session of Parliament. The opposition demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi address the violence in Manipur inside of Parliament, and the administration insisted that it was prepared for a debate and that Shah would react on the floor of the House. As a result, the monsoon session has come to a standstill over the sexual assault. The opposition has also demanded the ouster of chief minister N Biren Singh, claiming that the state administration has failed to restore law and order.
Amit Shah in Constant Contact with Prime Minister on Manipur Situation
According to those knowledgeable of the circumstances, the PM spoke to Shah three times a day at times and maintained constant contact with the home ministry. Shah made it clear that neither he nor the intelligence community knew anything about the May 4 video and promised to take the toughest possible action against those responsible and others named in the 6,065 FIRs that the state police had filed. He claimed that when the May 4 video was being recorded, neither the army nor the police were present. Shah stated that 82% of kids were back in school and 72% of state government employees had returned to their jobs thanks in part to direct intervention from the Centre. Shah added that the law-and-order situation was substantially under control and he anticipated that calm would soon return to the state. The Union and state civil services exams were also recently held in the state. The home minister said that despite ethnic tensions prompted by the Manipur high court’s decision to grant the Meiteis scheduled tribal (ST) status, there had been no reports of communal violence in the state. A move to reinstate the Armed Forces Special Powers Act in newly created territories of Manipur will not be made, he added, nor will the government petition the Supreme Court on ST status to Meiteis.
Recounts Four Major Ethnic Clashes in 1990s Manipur
The minister emphasised that during the 1990s, when the Congress was in power at the Centre and in the State, there had been four significant ethnic clashes involving Kukis: the Naga-Kuki conflict in 1993, the Kuki-Paite conflict in 1997–1998, the Meitei-Pangal conflict in May 1993, and the Kuki-Tamil conflict in 1995. As the Opposition was not interested in any debate in Parliament, the minister claimed he was left with no choice except to communicate with the public through the media. He claimed that since the railroads had already reached Manipur months before it was anticipated that they would, the cost of food, petrol and other necessities had decreased and was now on level with Delhi. “Manipur suffered blockades of 149 continuous days with petrol selling at ₹240 and LPG at ₹1,900 under the Congress regime. We will not allow the violence to spread to other states bordering Manipur and any insurgency or extremism will be dealt with iron hand,” Shah said.
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