Imphal, Dec 8 (IANS): The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has taken suo motu cognisance of media reports that at least 13 people were killed in a gunfight in Manipur, and issued notices to the state’s Chief Secretary and the DGP seeking a detailed report in the matter within two weeks.
On December 4, 13 people were reportedly killed in a gunfight between two rival armed groups at Leithao village near Saibol in Tengnoupal district.
The contents of the media reports, if true, amount to a serious issue of human rights violations, which is a matter of concern, the NHRC said in a statement, adding that the incident, as reported, indicates towards lapse on the part of the law enforcing agencies and the forces deployed to ensure peace and law and order in the state.
“The report of the Chief Secretary and the DGP should include the status of the FIR registered by the police and steps taken by the state government to ensure that such incidents of violence do not take place anywhere in the state,” the statement read.
The Commission also observed that the reported loss of 13 lives, that too in an area which remained calm since tension erupted in Manipur in May this year, is indeed alarming and disturbing.
It said: “The state of Manipur and its people have already suffered a lot. It is firmly reiterated that it is the duty of the state to protect lives and properties of its citizens, both private and public, and to promote fraternity and spirit of brotherliness among the communities.”
The NHRC since May has received several complaints from individuals, NGOs and human rights activists alleging violation of human rights during the incidents of violence in Manipur.
The statement said the matters concerning Manipur are being considered by the full bench of the Commission and were also discussed at length during its camp sitting in Guwahati on November 17.
According to a media report, the Leithao village has nine houses and around 120 residents. However, no casualties were reported from among the villagers.
Reportedly, this is the highest single-day loss of life in the violence that erupted in Manipur on May 3.
Prima-facie it is suspected that the victims even be militants from Myanmar, since the nearby hills from Leithao are a common route taken by people to enter Manipur from Myanmar, the NHRC statement said.