PUCL will release its report on Manipur soon

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has been facing massive opposition inside and outside the Parliament over the ethnic violence in the North-Eastern state of Manipur for the past several months, has avoided visiting Manipur.
As per a fixed strategy, the Central Government is avoiding speaking on this issue, but the People’s Union for Civil Liberties, which has been keeping a close watch on the violence that has been going on for months, has sent an investigation team there to take stock of the situation.
The 15-member tribunal constituted under the chairmanship of former Supreme Court judge Kurian Joseph recently toured the violence-hit state extensively.. The tribunal will make its investigation report public in the next few days.
The ‘Independent People’s Tribunal on Manipur’ constituted by PUCL, held its sitting in Delhi on July 6 and 7, 2024, heard personal testimonies of survivors and victims of ethnic violence that has been going on in Manipur for the last fifteen months since May 3, 2023. The Independent People’s Tribunal on Manipur, as announced by PUCL on March 5, 2024, was constituted in the context of the long-running violence and serious issues of constitutional governance in the State of Manipur.
Prior to the Delhi hearing, a group of jury members of the Tribunal visited Manipur in late May and June, 2024 to record personal testimonies of survivors/victims from various communities, various service organisations who are organising relief and providing assistance to the affected people. According to a press release issued on Monday by PUCL National President Kavita Shrivastava and General Secretary V. Suresh, the Independent People’s

on Manipur will submit its findings in the form of a ‘Report to the Nation’ in the next few day. The team also visited several relief camps set up in the districts to speak to survivors/inmates, school-going children, women and elderly. The team also met various government officials and officers of the security forces. Apart from the testimony collected from various stakeholders and discussions held with them, documents relating to various dimensions of the ongoing violence were also placed before the Tribunal.
The Tribunal also heard testimony from internally displaced persons and representatives of various ethnic communities – Kuki, Meitei, Naga, Pangal and others. The Tribunal met advocates, journalists, health professionals, scholars, academics and activists from various communities of Manipur.The members of the Independent People’s Tribunal include Shri Kurian Joseph, former Judge, Supreme Court of India, K. Kannan, former Judge, Punjab and Haryana High Court, Dr. Anjana Prakash, former Judge, Patna High Court. MG Devasahayam, IAS (Retd), former Additional Chief Secretary, Haryana, Dr. Swaraj Bir Singh, IPS (Retd), former DGP, Meghalaya, Prof. Uma Chakravarti, feminist historian. Apart from these, Prof. Virginius Xaxa, social scientist and author Prof. Rosemary Zuvichu, formerly of Nagaland University, Prof. Tanveer Fazal, University of Hyderabad along with Dr. Sandeep Pandey, peace activist, Ms. Manjula Pradeep, senior human rights activist, Dr. Navsharan Singh, author, researcher and activist, Mr. Henry Tiphagne, Advocate, Madras/Madurai High Court and Shakaar Patel, journalist and author.
As per the announcement made by PUCL in  March this year, the Independent People’s Tribunal on Manipur has been constituted in the context of the long-running statewide violence and serious issues in Manipur. The situation is marked by a deep sense of mistrust towards the role played by the State and Central Government and its functionaries, controversy over the response and role of the security forces including the State Police. The neutrality of the Central forces including the Assam Rifles and other Central forces is being questioned.
The role of insurgent groups in the conflict, the role of vigilante militias, the looting of the police armoury and the siphoning off of ultramodern weapons which have not been fully recovered yet remain issues of concern. All these have created an atmosphere of hostility which still persists. Given the deeply polarized and uncertain situation prevailing in Manipur, such an independent People’s Tribunal will help restore a sense of trust and confidence in the constitutional order and institutions.
According to PUCL Some of the key areas that the Tribunal studied include: Documenting the violations suffered by the people of Manipur, with special focus on loss of life, sexual violence and violence suffered by women including children, pregnant women and the elderly; Investigating and analyzing the performance and accountability of the Tribunal.
Objective of the Tribunal – To document the violations suffered by the people of Manipur, with special focus on loss of life, sexual violence and violence suffered by women including children, pregnant women and the elderly and to examine and analyze the performance and responsibilities of constitutional authorities by documenting the actions taken to prevent violence, provide access to remedies and justice, investigate and prosecute crimes and to redress the violations by all other means and to establish the rule of law; and also to examine the role of all security agencies and government officials at all levels of the State and Central Governments in ensuring law and order; and the role of independent national and state based institutions in protecting human rights; and to examine the existing documentation on the situation in Manipur and analyze the causes of the ongoing violence; and to propose recommendations to improve the social, cultural and political fabric of the State.

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