Centre Forms 3 Member-Panel To Probe Manipur Violence; Seeks Report In Six Months

New Delhi: The Centre has constituted a three-member Commission of Inquiry, headed by the former chief justice of the Gauhati High Court Ajai Lamba, to investigate into the incidents of violence in Manipur which started in early May. The Commission shall submit its report to the Central Government as soon as possible but not later than six months from the date of its first sitting.

The Government of India led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has notified a Commission of Inquiry under the Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1952, chaired by Justice Ajai Lamba, former Chief Justice of Gauhati High Court with Himanshu Shekhar Das, IAS (Retd.) and Aloka Prabhakar, IPS (Retd.) as members to inquire into the incidents of violence in the state of Manipur on May 3 and thereafter, the official notification said.

The Ministry of Home Affairs in a release said the commission shall make an inquiry with respect to the causes and spread of the violence, which took place in Manipur, and whether there were any lapses on the part of any of the responsible authorities or individuals. The headquarters of the commission shall be in Imphal – the capital of Manipur.

Meanwhile, a total of 202 arms, 252 ammunition and 92 bombs of all kinds recovered after the visit of Home Minister Amit Shah to Manipur. A total of 789 arms and 10648 ammunition have been recovered till date. Security Advisor to Government of Manipur Kuldiep Singh said that the situation in Manipur by and large remained under control.

Amit Shah Urges People To Lift Blockade

There are reports of blockades at Imphal-Dimapaur National Highway-2. Union Home Minister Amit Shah has appealed to the people to lift the blockade. In his tweet, Home Minister said, “My sincerest appeal to the people of Manipur is to lift the blockades at the Imphal-Dimapur, NH-2 Highway, so that food, medicines, Petrol/Diesel, and other necessary items can reach the people.I also request that Civil Society Organisations do the needful in bringing consensus. Together only we can restore normalcy in this beautiful state”.

“We hope that people will surely take into account the Home Minister’s appeal and lift the blockade on the Imphal-Dimapaur National Highway-2 at the earliest,” the official release said.

Curfew Relaxed In Manipur

“Curfew relaxation has been made for 12 hours in the valley and 10 hours and 07 hours in the neighbouring hill districts. During the last 24 hours 23 more arms have been recovered. This makes a total of 202 arms, 252 ammunition and 92 bombs of all kinds recovered after the visit of Home Minister. A total of 789 arms and 10648 ammunition have been recovered till date,” the official statement said.

Union Minister of Home Affairs Amit Shah visited Manipur from May 29 to June 1, 2023, and after taking stock of the situation announced the appointment of a Commission of Inquiry. Shah’s visit to the violence-hit state was to take stock of the situation and to hold talks with different stakeholders in a bid to restore a sense of calm in the state.

Amit Shah urged all communities and sections of society to maintain peace, hold discussions and promote harmony as well as surrender their weapons to the police. He also appealed to the people not to pay heed to rumours and maintain peace and harmony.

Internet services continue to remain suspended and security forces deployed in Manipur after clashes between communities residing in hills and plains districts. The violence apparently started after a Scheduled Tribes reservation was demanded by the plains dwellers, who are predominantly Meiteis and are the majority in numbers. Against those demands, a rally was organised by the All Tribals Students Union (ATSU) — mostly from the Kuki community. Manipur later turned violent and ever since there has been incidents of violence and arson with dozens of lives so far. However, the curfew has been withdrawn in some districts.