Manipur violence: NHRC notice to state government, DGP over killing of 13 people in gun fight in Tengnoupal district

Northeast Desk, 9th December: The state government and the Director General of Police (DGP) have received a notice from the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) regarding the killing of 13 people in a gunfight in Leithao village, Tengnoupal district. The NHRC expressed concern, citing a “lapse” by law enforcement and peacekeeping forces. The reported loss of lives in an area previously calm since tensions in Manipur erupted in May is deemed “alarming and disturbing” by the NHRC.

The rights panel took suo motu cognisance of a media report stating that at least 13 people were killed in a gunfight on December 4 in Leithao village. The NHRC, considering the potential human rights violations, issued notices to the state’s chief secretary and DGP, demanding a detailed report within two weeks. The report should cover the status of the police-filed FIR and the state government’s actions to prevent such violence.

The NHRC emphasized the need for the state to safeguard its citizens’ lives and properties, urging fraternity among communities. Since May 2023, the NHRC has received multiple complaints alleging human rights violations during incidents of violence in Manipur. These matters are under consideration by the full bench of the commission.

A media report on December 5 revealed that the Leithao village, with nine houses and approximately 120 residents, saw no casualties among villagers during the incident. There is suspicion that the victims may be militants from Myanmar, as the nearby hills are a common route for their entry into Manipur. This incident marks the highest single-day loss of life in the violence that unfolded in Manipur this year.

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