New Delhi, June 4
The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Sunday issued a notification constituting a ‘Commission of Inquiry’, under the chairmanship of former chief justice of the Gauhati High Court Ajai Lamba, to probe the recent series of violence in Manipur that led to loss of more than 80 lives.
In the notification the MHA said, the commission “will make inquiry with respect to the causes and spread of the violence and riots targeting members of different communities”, which took place in Manipur on May 3 and thereafter.
The other members on the judicial probe panel are retired IAS officer Himanshu Sekhar Das and retired IAS officer Aloka Prabhakar. “The headquarters of the ‘Commission of Enquiry’ shall be at Imphal,” it said.
The panel “will probe the sequence of events leading to, and all the facts relating to such violence; whether there were any lapses or dereliction of duty in this regard on the part of any of the responsible authorities/individuals and adequacy of the administrative measures taken to prevent, and to deal with the violence and riots”, the MHA said.
As per the terms of reference stipulated in the Notification, the inquiry by the commission “shall look into the complaints or allegations that may be made before it by any individual or association”.
It further said, “The commission shall submit its report to the central government as soon as possible but not later than six months from the date of its first sitting.” It went on to add: “The commission, however, if it deems fit, can make interim reports to the central government before the said date.”
Manipur has been witnessing sporadic violence ever since ethnic clashes broke out on May 3.
The death toll from clashes has gone up to over 80, officials said.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah had visited the state of Manipur for four days between May 29 and June 1 and after taking stock of the situation had announced that the Centre would soon constitute a Commission of Inquiry to probe the violence in the state.
The ethnic violence first broke out after a “Tribal Solidarity March” was organised in the hill districts on May 3 to protest the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.
The violence was preceded by tension over the eviction of Kuki villagers from reserve forest land, which had led to a series of smaller agitations.
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