Manipur violence: SC refuses urgent hearing on plea seeking Army protection for Kuki tribals

 The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused urgent hearing on a plea seeking Army protection for minority Kuki tribals amid ethnic violence in Manipur.

A vacation bench of Justices Surya Kant and M M Sundresh said it is purely a law and order issue.

Senior advocate Colin Gonsalves mentioned the matter on behalf of NGO Manipur Tribal Forum.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said security agencies are on the ground and opposed the plea for urgent hearing.

The top court posted the matter for hearing on July 3.

The Manipur Tribal Forum has alleged that the central government and the chief minister of Manipur have jointly embarked on a communal agenda aimed at “ethnic cleansing” of Kuki tribals in the northeastern state.

The NGO urged the apex court not to rely on “empty assurances” given by the Centre and sought Army protection for Kuki tribals.

More than 100 people have lost their lives in the violence between Meitei and Kuki communities in Manipur that broke out over a month ago.

Clashes first broke out in Manipur on May 3 after a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.

Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur’s population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley. Tribals – Nagas and Kukis – constitute another 40 per cent of the population and reside in the hill districts.

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