Centre to set up panel under retired High Court chief justice to probe Manipur violence: Amit Shah : The Tribune India

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Centre to set up panel under retired High Court chief justice to probe Manipur violence: Amit Shah

Said six specific cases pertaining to violent incidents to be handed over to CBI to investigate, asks people to surrender arms

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 1

Union Home Minister Amit Shah today announced that the Centre would soon set up a committee headed by a retired judge in the rank of the chief justice of a High Court to probe the widespread violence that Manipur witnessed leading to loss of lives and damage to properties.

Addressing a press conference in Imphal during his four-day visit to Manipur, Shah also said that six cases pertaining to the violence would be probed by a special CBI team.

The Minister also warned of stern action against those who violated the Suspension of Operation (SoO) agreement and appealed to all to surrender arms.

Shah said he held several rounds of meetings with every section of the society, including officers, political parties and the representatives of Kuki and Meitei civil groups.

“A probe panel will be set up to look into the reasons for the violence and to identify the elements responsible for it. This probe panel will be headed by a retired judge in the rank of the chief justice of a high court. This probe will be done by the Centre. A peace committee will be set up under the guidance of the Manipur Governor,” Shah said.

An inter-agency unified command will start working in the state from Thursday under Kuldeep Singh, retired DG, CRPF, overseeing the coordination among the agencies deployed in the state to manage the situation, the Minister announced.

“Six cases will be probed by a special team of the CBI under the Centre. I want to assure people of Manipur that there will be an impartial and fair probe. The future course of action to ensure that no such violence takes place in future will also be deliberated,” he said.

During the course of interaction with mediapersons, Shah also announced an ex-gratia amount of Rs 10 lakh (Rs 5 lakh from the state and Rs 5 lakh from the Centre) to families of those who lost their lives in the violence and noted that the money will be directly transferred to bank accounts of victims’ families.

Appealing to everyone who may have arms in their possession, the Home Minister said, “Surrender your arms to the police today. From tomorrow, a combing operation will start. Action will be taken if arms are found by the police.” He went on to add: “I want to appeal to all civil society organisations to not pay heed to rumours. Now is the time to maintain peace from both sides and do your job for which you formed the organisation.”

Manipur has seen spate of violence for the past few weeks which escalated on Sunday when five persons, including a Manipur police officer, were killed, a BJP MLA’s house was vandalised and over 1,000 arms and ammunition were reportedly looted from the state police force.

The violent incidents began on May 3 during a rally organised by the All Tribals Students Union (ATSU) to protest the demand for the inclusion of Meitei in the Scheduled Tribe (ST) category. The march was organised in protest against the demand for inclusion of the state’s Meitei community in the ST category, following an April 19 Manipur High Court directive.

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