Army Deployment in Manipur
Manipur Tribal Forum v State of Manipur
The Supreme Court will hear a plea seeking the deployment of the Army to restore law and order in the State of Manipur.
Petitioner: Manipur Tribal Forum Delhi
Lawyers: Colin Gonsalves, Satya Mitra, Nizam Pasha
Respondent: State of Manipur
Lawyers: Tushar Mehta, Solicitor General; Pukhrambam Ramesh Kumar
Case Number: W.P.(C) 540/2023
Next Hearing: July 10, 2023
Last Updated: July 13, 2023
On May 3rd, 2023, a group of protestors organised a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ to protest against the inclusion of the Meitei community in the Scheduled Tribes (ST) community. This resulted in a violent clash between different groups. The Nagas and Kuki tribes opposed the inclusion claiming that the Meitei community forms the majority population and enjoys political representation in the region.
On May 6th, 2023, the Manipur Tribals Forum Delhi filed a Public Interest Litigation at the Supreme Court, asking for a Special Investigation Team to be constituted to investigate the Manipur Violence. They alleged that the Union and the State Governments have condoned the attacks ‘on account of a non-secular agenda’. The petitioners claimed that the violence has led to 30 casualties and 132 injuries as of May 6th, 2023. Additionally, the CRPF camps providing shelter to several tribal people were in ‘deplorable and pathetic conditions’.
On May 8th, 2023, the SC termed the conflict as a ‘humanitarian problem’. The SC ordered that basic amenities and rehabilitation efforts should be made available for the displaced tribals in the relief camps. The Bench urged the Government to make arrangements for the safe return of displaced people to their villages.
On May 15th, 2023, the Manipur Tribals Forum filed an Interlocutory Application (IA) at the SC. They requested the support of the Army in 85 villages where ‘attacks were likely to happen’ and in 124 villages which were ‘razed to the ground’.
On May 17th, 2023, the SC ordered the State to file a status report regarding the security measures taken in Manipur. The State maintained that the situation in Manipur had improved and there was ‘peace and quiet’.
On June 8th, 2023, Manipur Tribals’ Forum Delhi filed another IA stating that the assurances made by the Government were false. They pointed out that the situation in Manipur had worsened, and that there had been 70 more deaths since the Union’s assurances. They further highlighted that the conditions of the relief camps have not improved.
On June 20, 2023, the SC’s Vacation Bench refused to urgently hear a plea seeking army deployment for control of the law and order situation in Manipur. The SC believed its intervention would ‘aggravate’ the situation in the State.