TODAY -

PIL in HC defends village volunteers
Political culture in Manipur appalling: Chongtham Bijoy

Source: Chronicle News Service

Imphal, April 17 2024: A group of young advocates has filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) at the High Court of Manipur, stating that the valley village volunteers are not criminals, but merely defending the state and its people after the government failed to do so.

They further prayed to the court to recognise the role played by the volunteers.

Meanwhile, social political commentator Chongtham Bijoy has remarked that the-political culture in the state is highly appalling.

On Tuesday, the Manipur High Court admitted the petition filed by the young advocates with advocate Keisham Kishan as the petitioner's counsel.

Subsequently, the court directed the central and state governments to respond to the petition within a week.

Speaking at a press meet held in this regard at his Lamphel residence on Wednesday, Bijoy pointed that after illegal immigrant narco-terrorists attacked Manipur, over 40,000 state forces deployed in the state were unable to protect the lives and properties of the people.

As such, people from various backgrounds and professions took up their license arms to uphold their right to life.

As the central forces deployed by the centre remained ineffective and the law-and-order situation continued to deteriorate, village volunteers sacrificed themselves to save the state, he remarked.

Bijoy continued that the current political culture in the state is appalling, with no sign of peace for more than 11 months.

Some are spewing poison, while some have a form a culture of taking advantage of the poor.

Amid this precarious situation, some young advocates filed a PIL at the High Court to alleviate undue pressure being exerted on the people.

Since the court has accepted the PIL, it would not be long for the court to grant some relief, he opined.

Explaining in brief about the contents of the PIL, Bijoy said that the petition presents the concerns of the village volunteers in front of the court.

It states that the conflict in the state was premeditated by illegal Kiiki immigrants and narco-terrorists to take over Manipur.

Dissatisfied with the government, they instead declared war on the Meetei community on May 3 last year.

The 40,000 state forces failed to act in time, compelling the Meetei villagers including women to take up whatever weapons they had to defend the land.

Even now, the Kukis are trying to gain the upper hand.

While both the state and central forces stayed ineffective, the village volunteers have been guarding the valley till date, he pointed out.

Bijoy continued that almost all of the village volunteers were fanners, workers or professionals, who sacrificed their occupations to assist in defending the state and country.

They are not criminals and as such, their role in protecting the state should be recognised.

The volunteers have not received any salary to take up the responsibility and many were shot dead.

Now, amidst the polls, village volunteers are being threatened, which is wrongful practice, he remarked.

Bijoy then said that one of the important points of the PIL is to grant protection to valley village volunteers until peace is restored in the state.

It further urged for not registering any post facto FIR against the volunteers but to grant blanket immunity and see to their rehabilitation when peace is fully restored in the state.


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