A press statement released by Dr Laifungbam D Roy- Convenor, Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights in Manipur and the UN (CSCHR), a coalition of twenty-three (23) indigenous peoples’ human rights organizations of Manipur in India’s North East region, expressed concern with the deepening political instability and open armed conflict on the eastern flank of Manipur in Chandel District bordering with Myanmar’s Sagaing Division, especially after the order from the centre to initiate activities to “sanitise the area completely”.
Further the release strongly disapprove of the de facto ”state of siege” that exists in Chandel district today, which is beyond the “Rule of Law” and the gaze of the public through the media, and grieve for those who have lost precious lives unnecessarily, as no line of duty in this modern world should involve the grave risk of such violence and untimely death.
Stressing on the perceptible lack of involvement or coordination between the central armed and paramilitary forces and the Chandel District administration the communiqué questions why the Chief Minister of Manipur, who is the chairman of the Unified Command structure of Manipur under the jurisdiction of AFSPA, does not consider himself accountable for the activities of the central armed and paramilitary forces in Chandel District, and adds that it is unacceptable that neither he nor the Deputy Chief Minister in charge of home affairs in the State have visited the district immediately after the incident to take stock of the situation, even though top generals of India have flown in from New Delhi. If it is also true, as widely reported that the Indian army unit, which suffered tragic fatalities and losses, had been violating Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), the Unified Command under the chairmanship of the CM of Manipur seems to have abdicated its role and functions totally, demanding that the media must be allowed into the area unhindered as there are no more fire fights or active hostilities as reported. The Director General Police of Manipur must update the public and media daily on the activities and developments in the area of the operation. Civilian populations displaced and affected in any way by the search operation must have immediate access to humanitarian and legal aid, psychosocial support and adequate shelter including food, sanitation and safe drinking water though a procedure of direct assessment conducted jointly by competent officers and representatives of the District administration and non-government organisations.