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Manipur Tribal Forum Moves Supreme Court Alleging BJP's Support In Attacks On Tribal Communities

The Manipur Tribal Forum has filed a PIL seeking the evacuation and safe return of Manipuri Tribals who had fled to CRPF camps amidst attacks allegedly supported by the BJP.

People from Manipur raise slogans during their protest against the ongoing violence in the state
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A public interest litigation (PIL) has been filed before the Supreme Court by Manipur Tribal Forum seeking directions to the Central and State governments to evacuate the Manipuri Tribals who had fled to CRPF camps and to ensure they reach their residence safely under security escort.

According to a report by Bar and Bench, the PIL alleged that the attacks on tribal communities in Manipur have the support of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which is in power in the State as well as at the Centre. The PIL further alleged that 30 tribal persons were killed and 132 were injured, but no FIR has been registered so far. The clashes and violence in Manipur have stemmed from the opposition of certain tribes to the demand by the majority Meitei community to grant them Scheduled Tribes status.

The Manipur high court had ordered the Manipur government to consider the inclusion of the Meitei/Meetei community in the Scheduled Tribe list, which led to clashes between tribal and non-tribal communities. The PIL before the top court has also prayed for directions to the Central Forces to immediately make secure and safe the areas where the tribals are currently residing, and to reconstruct the churches which were impacted by the violent clashes, according to the report.

Petition by BJP MLA

In addition to the public interest litigation, according to The Print, there is another petition that has been submitted to the Supreme Court by a BJP MLA from Manipur, Dinganglung Gangmei. He filed a petition in the Supreme Court to challenge the Manipur High Court's order granting Scheduled Tribe status to the Meitei community.

The petition argues that the Meitei community is not a tribe and has never been recognized as such. It also claims that the High Court's order directing the state government to recommend the community for inclusion in the Scheduled Tribes List falls outside its jurisdiction. The appeal seeks a stay on the High Court's order and states that the court's interference in political matters has given rise to tensions among the tribals, according to the report.

The violence in Manipur erupted after a rally by the All Tribal Students Union of Manipur (ATSUM) on May 3 and has led to the deployment of paramilitary forces by the Central government.

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