SC seeks Manipur govt’s response on plea for free medical treatment for those fleeing strife-torn areas

The Supreme Court on Friday sought the Manipur government’s response on a plea of two women from the Kuki community seeking direction for free medical treatment to those fleeing ethnic strife-torn areas of the state.

A bench comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Mishra took note of the plea which also sought framing of guidelines for police to lodge zero FIRs, keeping in mind the alleged reluctance on the part of local police in registering the case related to violence.

The bench, while issuing notice, ordered tagging of the plea with pending ones on Manipur violence.

The petition by the two women referred to the plight of Manipur natives, claiming they have been forced to migrate.

The women alleged that like them, several others have been denied basic human rights and the right to life.

On August 7, the top court had ordered setting up of a committee of three former women high court judges to oversee relief and rehabilitation of victims and compensation to them besides asking former Maharashtra Police chief Dattatray Padsalgikar to monitor the probe in criminal cases.

Observing that its effort is to restore people’s faith in the rule of law in the strife-torn state, the top court had also decided to monitor the overall situation there.

More than 160 people have been killed and several hundred injured since ethnic violence first broke out in the state on May 3 when a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the hill districts to protest against the majority Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe status.

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