India rejects UN experts’ statement on Manipur violence, calls it ‘unwarranted’ | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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India rejects UN experts’ statement on Manipur violence, calls it ‘unwarranted’

Sep 05, 2023 07:12 PM IST

India’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations Office and other International Organisations said that the UN experts’ comment betrayed a complete lack of understanding on the situation in Manipur and the steps taken by the government to address it

India on Monday rejected a statement issued by a group of UN experts on the ongoing ethnic violence in Manipur, calling it “unwarranted, presumptive and misleading” and said that their comment betrayed a complete lack of understanding on the situation in the northeastern state and the steps taken by the Government of India to address it.

A release titled ‘India: UN experts alarmed by continuing abuses in Manipur’ said that the recent events in Manipur were another tragic milestone in the steadily deteriorating situation for religious and ethnic minorities in India. (File Photo)
A release titled ‘India: UN experts alarmed by continuing abuses in Manipur’ said that the recent events in Manipur were another tragic milestone in the steadily deteriorating situation for religious and ethnic minorities in India. (File Photo)

A release issued on Monday by the Special Procedure Mandate Holders (SPMH) titled ‘India: UN experts alarmed by continuing abuses in Manipur’ had said that the recent events in Manipur were another tragic milestone in the steadily deteriorating situation for religious and ethnic minorities in India.

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“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 said.

Urging the government to step up relief efforts for those affected and take timely action to investigate acts of violence, they also raised concerns about reported criminalisation and harassment of human rights defenders documenting the cases of violence.

They said, “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.”

They added, “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 counterterrorism measures to legitimize acts of violence and repression against ethnic and religious minorities.”

“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,” the UN experts said.

Reacting to it, India’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations Office and other International Organisations in Geneva, in a statement, said, “The Permanent Mission of India completely rejects the news release as it is not only unwarranted, presumptive and misleading but also betrays a complete lack of understanding on the situation in Manipur and the steps taken by Government of India to address it.”

“Indian law enforcement authorities and security forces are committed to dealing with law-and-order situations strictly in accordance with the principles of legal certainty, necessity, proportionality, and non-discrimination,” it added.

The ethnic violence between the Meitei and the Kuki communities in Manipur has claimed at least 163 lives and displaced around 50,000 people since May 3.

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