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Monday, May 20, 2024

UN takes note of Manipur violence, spins the ‘minority in danger’ narrative


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On Monday, September 4, the United Nations (UN) experts raised alarm about the reports of ‘serious human rights violations and abuses in the state of Manipur, including alleged acts of sexual violence, extrajudicial killings, home destruction, forced displacement, torture, and ill-treatment.’ The experts also pointed to an ‘inadequate humanitarian response’ in the wake of the grave humanitarian situation in Manipur following the latest round of community conflict between the predominantly Hindu Meitei and the predominantly Christian Kuki ethnic communities that erupted in May, 2023.

It is interesting to note that while the UN talks of the Manipur violence, with utmost ease, it seems to be emphasising solely on the atrocities faced by the Kuki community, arbitrarily leaving the Meitei side of the story. Along with this, the UN, very smartly, inserts the leftist-liberal propaganda of ‘minorities in danger’ in India.

The UN, on its website, says, ‘By mid-August 2023, an estimated 160 persons had reportedly been killed, “mostly from the Kuki ethnic community”, and over 300 injured. The conflict also reportedly resulted in tens of thousands of people from the communities being displaced, thousands of homes and hundreds of churches being burnt down, as well the destruction of farmland, loss of crops and loss of livelihood.

‘We are appalled by the reports and images of gender-based violence targeting hundreds of women and girls of all ages, and “predominantly of the Kuki ethnic minority”. The alleged violence includes gang rape, parading women naked in the street, severe beatings causing death, and burning them alive or dead.’, the experts said.

Showing as if the Kuki community is the only victim in the state of Manipur, and that the violence has been directed at them, the United Nations expressed, ‘It is particularly concerning that the violence seems to have been “preceded and incited by hateful and inflammatory speech that spread online and offline to justify the atrocities committed against the Kuki ethnic minority”, particularly women, on account of their ethnicity and religious belief.’

‘We are further alarmed by the reported misuse of counter-terrorism measures to “legitimise acts of violence and repression against ethnic and religious minorities.”’, continues the UN.

The experts said that the recent events in Manipur were ‘another tragic milestone in the steadily deteriorating situation for religious and ethnic minorities in India.’

‘We have serious concerns about the apparent slow and inadequate response by the Government of India, including law enforcement, to stem physical and sexual violence and hate speech in Manipur.’, the experts stated.

The experts welcomed the fact-finding mission conducted by lawyers and human rights defenders in Manipur and the follow-up by the Supreme Court of India on the situation in Manipur, though the response could have come in a timelier manner. They urged the Supreme Court to continue monitoring the response of the Government and other actors, with a focus on justice, accountability, and reparations.

‘We are also concerned about reported criminalization and harassment of human rights defenders documenting the cases.’, they said.

They further urged the government to step up relief efforts to those affected, and to take robust and timely action to investigate acts of violence and hold perpetrators to account, including public officials, who may have “aided and abetted the incitement of racial and religious hatred and violence.”

Sonakshi Datta
Sonakshi Datta
Journalist who wants to cover the truth which others look the other way from.

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