Over 550 civil society groups and concerned individuals from across the country come together to condemn the continuing violence in Manipur.
Call for an immediate stop to divisive politics by the state and security forces.
Urge all parties for an immediate cease fire.
Issuing a statement expressing deep concern about the continuing ethnic violence in Manipur between the Meitei community and the tribal Kuki and Zo communities since early May 2023, people from across the nation called on the Prime Minister to break his deafening silence on the ongoing civil war in the hills and valley areas of Manipur, and for ‘an immediate halt to this violence that is causing large scale disruption of lives, livelihoods and properties and unleashing even more terror among people’ – to date over 50,000 people are reported to be in more than 300 refugee camps and lakhs of men, women and children have been displaced. And the violence still continues.
It emphasises that, ‘Manipur is burning today in very large part due to the divisive politics played by the BJP and its governments at the Centre and State. And on them lies the onus to stop this ongoing civil war before more lives are lost.’ It also unequivocally states that the state has pretended to be an ally to both the communities for its political gains, but has only widened the chasm of historical tensions between them without any effort to facilitate a dialogue towards resolution of the current crisis till date.
The statement further notes that, ‘In the present scenario, the worst of the violence against the Kukis has been perpetuated by armed Meitei majoritarian groups like Arambai Tenggol and Meitei Leepun, accompanied by genocidal hate-speech and supremacist displays of impunity. ‘ There are also news reports about frenzied mobs chanting ‘rape her, torture her’ while attacking women that urgently need to be verified.
The statement demands an immediate halt to this ongoing violence and highlights the need for independent, non-partisan civil society members to visit the survivors and the bereaved; make attempts to verify reports of killings and rapes.
The signatories demand that:
- The Prime Minister must speak up and take accountability of the current situation in Manipur.
- A court-monitored tribunal must be formed to establish facts, and prepare the ground for justice and healing of the gaping wound that separates communities of Manipur to mitigate the divisiveness and hatred being engineered.
- A fast track court be set up for all cases of sexual violence by state and non-state actors, as recommended by the Verma commission that ‘personnel guilty of sexual offences in conflict areas should be tried under ordinary criminal law.
- Provision of relief by the government to those forced to flee and guarantee their safe return to their villages; rebuild their homes and lives. Provision of ex-gratia compensation to those who lost loved ones, suffered injuries and loss of home, grain, livestock and so on. This process of return, rehabilitation and compensation should be overseen by a panel of retired judges who know the region closely, perhaps appointed by the High Court or Supreme Court.
The statement has been endorsed by many rights based and civil society groups including: People’s Union for Civil Liberties, Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha, Saheli Women’s Resource Centre, Hazrat e Zindagi Mamuli, BAGAICHA, Unity in Compassion, National Alliance of People’s Movements, National Federation of Indian Women, Indian Christian Women’s Movement, Human Rights Forum, Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression, Forum Against Oppression of Women, ANHAD, Feminists in Resistance, Karnataka Janashakti,Coordination of Democratic Rights Organisation, People’s Union for Democratic Rights, Rashtriya Dharmnirpekshta Andolan Satara Maharashtra India, Bebaak Collective, Vimochana, Bhagat Singh Ambedkar Students Organisation, All India Krantikari Kisan Sabha(AIKKS), HAQ: Centre for Child Rights, Vimochana, Ananya Mahila Okkutta, Association for Democratic Rights Punjab, Prajaswamika Rachayitrula Vedika, International Federation of Trade Unions, Campaign Against Fabricated Cases, Swaraj Abhiyan, Justice Coalition of Religious – West India, All India Queer Association, Progressive Farmers Forum, Samajwadi Jan Parishad, Federation of Catholic Associations of Delhi NCR, India Justice Project, All India Union of Forest Working People, All India Democratic Women’s Association, Nari Samata Manch
Eminent signatories include:
- Parliamentarians: Manoj Kumar Jha, MP of Rajya Sabha for Bihar
- Retired bureaucrats and police officers: Meena Gupta(Civil Servant), P Gangte(IPS), Meeran Borwankar(Police officer).
- Activists: Kavita Srivastava, Annie Raja, Meera Sanghamitra, Brinda Adige, Cedric Prakash, PM Tony, Bishwapriya Kanungo, Holiram Terang, Mariam Dhawale, Maimoona Mollah, Khalida Parveen, Dr Ajita Rao, Hasina Khan, Shabnam Hashmi, Kamayani Bali Mahabal, Varalaxmi, Sagari Ramdas, Kavita Krishnan, Minakshi Singh, Corinne Kumar, V. Saldanha, Ammu Abraham, Ram Punyani, Jagmohan Singh, Lalita Ramdas, Raghavendra Prasad, Kaneez Fathima, Joseph Mathai, Paramjeet Singh, Irfan Engineer, Ashoka Choudhary, Deepika Tandon, Siraj Dutta, Chayanika Shah, Anuradha Kapoor, Madhu Bhushan.
- Academics: Rosemary Dzuvichu, Monisha Behal, N Haokip, Hoineilhing Sitlhou, Esther Ngaihte, Kham Khan Suan Hausing, Uma Chakravarti, Rooprekha Verma, Maroona Murmu, Manoranjan Mohanty, Rita Manchanda, Kalyani Menon Sen, Kalpana Kannabiran, Nandini Sundar, Ritu Dewan, Padmaja Shaw, Papori Bora, Amit Bhaduri, Jagdeep Chhokar, Rama Melkote, Mohan Rao, Vineeta Bal, Sadhna Arya, Lilika Zhimomi, Riaz Ahmed, Aditya Nigam, Nandita Narrain, Gabriele Dietrich, Sujato Bhadra, Veena Naregal, Lata Singh, Angana Chatterji, Gauhar Raza, Sujata Patel, Aditya Nigam.
- Journalists, filmmakers and writers: Anand Patwardhan, John Dayal, Cynthia Stephen, Pamela Philipose, Rajashri Dasgupta, Ranjana Padhi, Sujata Madhok, Sonal Kellogg, Teena Gill, Shuddhabrata Sengupta.
- Lawyers: Shalini Gera, Yusuf Muchhala, Sumita Hazarika, Pyoli Swatija, Isha Khandelwal, Shalu Nigam, Lara Jesani