Manipur violence | A year on, number of FIRs brought down from 11,000 to 3,000

The number of cases had shot up due to overlap, several duplicate FIRs for the same incident and thousands of Zero FIRs, says official; CM Biren Singh appeals to people to surrender weapons

May 03, 2024 02:33 am | Updated 07:09 am IST - New Delhi

Security personnel stand guard in Manipur’s Bishnupur district. File

Security personnel stand guard in Manipur’s Bishnupur district. File | Photo Credit: PTI

A year after ethnic violence erupted in Manipur, the clean-up of records has brought down the total number of violence-related First Information Reports (FIRs) from over 11,000 to around 3,000, a government source told The Hindu.

The number of cases had shot up due to overlap, several duplicate FIRs for the same incident and thousands of Zero FIRs, the official said. Zero FIRs are filed irrespective of jurisdiction and are later transferred to the police station where the crime took place.

Chief Minister N. Biren Singh said that the people should be united and there should be no attempts to divide the society. “Those who have committed the crimes should be prosecuted legally. I appeal to the people from both sides to surrender weapons,” Mr. Singh told The Hindu.

Also read: Manipur ethnic conflict characterised by brutality: Data 

More than 4,500 weapons were looted from police armouries after ethnic violence erupted in the State on May 3, 2023. Till now, around 1,800 weapons have been recovered or surrendered by the civilians. The conflict is between the tribal Kuki-Zo people and the majority Meitei community.

The government source said that thousands were displaced and due to the prevailing law and order situation they registered FIRs at places convenient to them, which also included neighbouring States.

“If an arson has taken place in a village, several FIRs were registered for the same crime, a team was constituted that cleaned up the records,” said the source.

Also read: Kukis | Fight for land and identity 

According to a status report filed by the State government on August 1 last year, 4,766 regular FIRs were registered till July 30 the same year. Out of 11,414 Zero FIRs, as many as 6,621 FIRs were converted to regular FIRs, the report said, adding that “there is an overlap of offences”.

The death toll in the initial three months of the violence stood at 150, while subsequently 71 others have been killed, bringing the death toll to 221. As many as 15 members of the Kuki-Zo community and 32 members of the Meitei community have been missing for a year.

Explained | What is behind Manipur’s widespread unrest?  

First phase of deportation

Mr. Singh said in a post on X that the first phase of deportation of “illegal immigrants” from Myanmar was completed on Thursday as 38 immigrants left Manipur for Myanmar through the Moreh border check post. “Without any discrimination, we have completed the first phase of deportation of illegal immigrants from Myanmar with 38 more immigrants leaving Manipur today through Moreh. A total of 77 illegal immigrants have been deported in the first phase. One Indian national was also brought back from Myanmar during the handover ceremony. The State government is continuing the identification of illegal immigrants and at the same time biometric data are being recorded. Let’s keep our borders and country secure,” he said.

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