Manipur High Court Deletes Order On Meiteis That Sparked Ethnic Violence

The court ordered the deletion of a paragraph from a March 2023 order that urged the state to consider including the Meitei community in the Scheduled Tribe list.


Protest over Manipur violence | Photo: PTI

In a major development, the Manipur High Court deleted a paragraph from its controversial ruling on March 27, 2023, which had directed the state government to submit a recommendation regarding the Scheduled Tribe status for the Meitei community.

The ruling had resulted in widespread ethnic conflict in Manipur, with the tribal Kuki community opposing the court's direction.

Justice Golmei Gaiphulshillu's bench stated that the judgement was made under a "misconception of law" because the  "petitioners failed to assist the court properly at the time of hearing of the said writ petition due to his misconception of fact and law".

The now-deleted para in the judgement stated: "The first respondent shall consider the case of the petitioners for inclusion of the Meetei/Meitei community in the Scheduled Tribe list, expeditiously, preferably within a period of four weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this order in terms of the averments set out in the writ petition and in the line of the order passed in W.P.(C) No. 4281 of 2002 dated 26.05.2003 by the Gauhati High Court."


The Manipur High Court approved a review petition on January 20 of this year, seeking to change its ruling from March 27. The court also notified the centre and state governments, seeking their response.

About Manipur Violence 

Erstwhile acting Manipur High Court Chief Justice MV Muralidharan on March 27 passed an order directing the state government in Manipur to recommend the inclusion of the Meitei community in the Scheduled Tribes (ST) list. Massive protests by both Naga and Kuki-Zomi tribes ensued which escalated to them clashing with the Meiteis. 


The ethnic violence escalated on May 3 last year when a 'Tribal Solidarity March' organised in the hill districts of the northeastern state to protest against the Meitei community's demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status sparked clashes.

More than 180 people have reportedly been killed and several hundred injured since ethnic violence broke out in Manipur on May 3.

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