NHRC issues notice to Manipur government over killing of 13 persons in Tengnoupal district

This is the highest single-day loss of life in the violence since it erupted in Manipur in May this year, notes the commission

December 09, 2023 01:19 am | Updated 08:04 am IST - New Delhi

Family members and relatives arrive to claim the bodies of the 13 people who were killed after a gunfight in a border village of Manipur’s Tengnoupal district on Monday, at JNIMS mortuary in Imphal, on Dec. 5, 2023.

Family members and relatives arrive to claim the bodies of the 13 people who were killed after a gunfight in a border village of Manipur’s Tengnoupal district on Monday, at JNIMS mortuary in Imphal, on Dec. 5, 2023. | Photo Credit: PTI

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Friday issued notice to the Manipur government over the deaths of at least 13 people in a gunfight at Leithao village near Saibol in the Tengnoupal district. The incident took place on December 4.

This is the highest single-day loss of life in the violence since it erupted in Manipur in May this year. Prima-facie it is suspected that the victims of the violence could even be militants from Myanmar, since the nearby hills from Leithao are a common route adopted by them to enter Manipur from Myanmar, a communique from the commission reads.

The commission maintained that the incident, as reported, indicates lapse on the part of the law enforcing agencies and the forces deployed to ensure peace and law and order in the State.

Accordingly, it has issued notices to the Chief Secretary and the Director-General of Police, Manipur, calling for a detailed report in the matter within two weeks. It should include the status of the FIR registered by the police and steps taken by the State government to ensure that such incidents of violence do not take place anywhere in the State.

The commission has further observed that the reported loss of 13 human lives, that too in an area which remained calm since the tension erupted in the State of Manipur in May this year, is indeed alarming and disturbing.

“The State of Manipur and its people have already suffered a lot. It is firmly reiterated that it is the duty of the State to protect the life and properties of its citizens both private and public and to promote fraternity and spirit of brotherliness amongst the communities,” the NHRC said in the notice.

The NHRC added that since May this year, it has received several complaints from the individuals or NGOs and human rights activists alleging violation of human rights during the incidents of violence in Manipur. These matters are being considered by the Full Bench of the NHRC and were also discussed at length, during its camp sitting at Guwahati, Assam on November 17, 2023. The senior officers from the government of Manipur, as well as the representatives of the complainants and civil society, were also present.

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