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In the midst of ethnic unrest in Manipur, a petition asking for Indian Army protection for the minority Kuki tribal was denied an urgent hearing by the Supreme Court. The highest court emphasized on Tuesday that the problem was only one of law and order and that security personnel were carrying out their duties in the violent environment.

On behalf of the non-governmental organization Manipur Tribal Forum, senior attorney Colin Gonsalves raised the hearing. Security agencies are present, according to Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who rejected the request for an early hearing.

It is basically a law and order matter, said to a vacation bench comprising Justices Surya Kant and MM Sundresh.

Senior attorney Colin Gonsalves stated at the court that the situation required urgent action and that many people were dying despite guarantees made. For indigenous people, we are looking for safety. 70 tribe members perished. We are looking for military defence.

When this was brought up, the bench said, “This is a law and order issue; let it be resolved through the administrative side, There will be a lot more fatalities. It’s on a rampage,” Gonsalves said, but the judge declined to label the case as urgent.

The case was scheduled for hearing before the Supreme Court on July 3.

On May 3, when a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was arranged throughout the hill regions to protest against the Meitei community’s desire for Scheduled Tribe (ST) classification, fighting initially broke out in Manipur.

The majority of Meiteis, who make up around 53% of Manipur’s population, reside in the Imphal Valley. Another 40% of the population is made up of the Naga and Kuki tribes, who live in the hill areas.

Written By- Aditya Singh, College Name- Army Law College, Pune, Semester- 2nd Semester Student an Intern under Legal Vidhya


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