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European Parliament To Debate Manipur Violence, India Says 'Internal Matter'

A motion for a resolution on the Manipur situation was tabled in the Brussels-based EU parliament by six parliamentary groups who criticised the centre's handling of the ethnic violence that erupted in the state. India reiterated that the issue is an internal matter and that they have reached out to the concerned EU parliamentarians

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Fresh Violence in Manipur
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As Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to embark on his visit to France, the European Parliament is set to debate on the ethnic violence in Manipur at a session in the French city of Strasbourg. India however, reiterated that it is an "internal matter".

A motion for a resolution on the Manipur situation was tabled in the Brussels-based EU parliament and it was scheduled to be taken up on Wednesday. The motion was passed by six parliamentary groups and has been scheduled for discussion for the latter half of the day, under the “Debates on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the Rule of Law”.

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Resolution on Manipur violence

The motion for a resolution which was tabled in the EU Parliament by six parliamentary groups, criticised the Modi government’s handling of the two-month-long violence in the state. "There have been concerns about politically motivated, divisive policies promoting Hindu majoritarianism, and about an increase in activity by militant groups," the joint resolution stated. It further criticised the state government's decision to impose curfew and curtail internet access which "severely hinders information-gathering and reporting by the media and civil society groups."

The resolution also called on the central government to repeal the "unlawful Armed Forces Special Powers Act in line with the recommendations of the UN Universal Periodic Review, and to abide by the UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials."

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Further expressing deep concern regarding the situation in Manipur, the resolution moved by pro-right ECR group noted, "Religious freedom in India has declined in recent years, marked by the promotion and enforcement of discriminatory laws and practices that negatively impact the country’s minorities of Christian, Muslim, Sikh, and Adivasis populations."

The joint resolution also called on all sides to exercise restraint and for political leaders to cease inflammatory statements in order to re-establish trust and play an impartial role to mediate the tension. "In the latest round of violence human rights groups have accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led government in Manipur and nationally of implementing divisive ethnonationalistic policies which oppress in particular religious minorities...Denounces in the strongest terms nationalistic rhetoric deployed by leading members of the BJP party," the resolution by S&D group stated.

India says "internal matter"

Asked about the matter at a media briefing on Wednesday, foreign secretary Vinay Kwatra replied: “On the Manipur question, this is a matter totally internal to India.”

He added, “We are aware of what [is happening in the European Parliament] and we have made a reach out to the concerned EU parliamentarians but we have made it very clear to them this is a matter totally and absolutely internal to India.”

Over 150 people have been killed and several hundred injured since ethnic violence broke out in the state on May 3, when a 'Tribal Solidarity March' was organised in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community's demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.

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The Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur's population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley. Tribal Nagas and Kukis constitute 40 per cent of the population and reside in the hill districts.

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