Manipur Violence Today: Supreme Court lashes out at Manipur government over ethnic violence | India

Manipur Violence Today: Supreme Court lashes out at Manipur government over ethnic violence | India

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday came down heavily on the Manipur government as well as the police over the “complete break down of constitutional machinery” in the strife-torn state from May till July. It also summoned the Manipur DGP to explain why “tardy probe” was carried out by the state police in cases of violence.

“The state police appears to be incapable of investigating the cases. There is no law and order left (in the state). If law and order machinery cannot protect people, where will they go for protection,”a bench headed by CJI D Y Chandrachud said.
The bench, also comprising Justice J B Pardiwala and Justice Manoj Misra, was hearing a batch of petitions concerning the violence in Manipur.

The apex court criticised the Manipur police for the poor law and order situation in the state, saying it is “incapable of investigation”.
During the hearing, the court also summoned Manipur DGP Rajiv Singh and sought his personal presence on Monday to understand why “tardy” probe was carried out in cases of “heinous nature”.
It asked the DGP to submit a tabulated data of FIRs based on the nature of offences. “We will decide future course of action on that day,” the top court said.
‘Investigation is so lethargic …’
The bench, which had called as “deeply disturbing” the May 4 video of two women being paraded naked, sought details from the state government about the date of occurrence of the incident and registration of ‘zero FIR’ and regular FIR in the case.
It also wanted to know how many accused were named in the over 6,000 FIRs registered so far and the steps taken for their arrest.
“The investigation is so lethargic, FIRs are registered after so long, arrests not made, statements not recorded…There is a complete breakdown of law and order and constitutional machinery in the state,” a bench headed by Chandrachud remarked orally.
“One thing is very clear that there is long delay in registering FIR in video case,” Chandrachud remarked orally.
As the hearing began, the Manipur government told the bench it has lodged 6,523 FIRs after ethnic violence erupted in Manipur in May.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre and the Manipur government, told the bench the state police lodged a “zero” FIR in the case of stripping and parading of the two women naked.
A zero FIR can be lodged at any police station irrespective of its territorial jurisdiction which is later transferred to the police station within whose limits an incident has happened.
Mehta told the top court the Manipur police have arrested seven people, including a juvenile, in the video case. It appears that the state police recorded the statement of the women after the video surfaced, Mehta told the bench.
Earlier in the day, the top court directed the CBI not to proceed with recording the statements of the victim women during the day as it is scheduled to hear a batch of petitions on the issue at 2 pm.
The bench took note of the submissions by lawyer Nizam Pasha, appearing for the two women, that the CBI has asked them to appear and depose before it during the day.
On Monday, the top court had pulled up the Manipur police over the delay in filing of the FIR in the horrific May 4 incident, the video of which went viral recently.
The bench had termed the violence against women in the state as “horrendous” and said that it does not want the Manipur police to probe the May 4 incident.
“The women shown in Manipur video were handed over to rioting crowd by police, this is horrendous,” the court had said, as it sought details of the FIRs and the number of arrests made in the incidents of violence against women in the state.
Manipur has been on the boil since May amid ethnic clashes between the Meiteis and the Kukis.
(With inputs from agencies)

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