PIL seeks protection of village volunteers

By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Apr 17: Seeking protection of volunteers guarding villages until the communal crisis besieging the State is effectively brought to an end and peace is restored fully, a PIL has been filed at the High Court of Manipur.
The PIL was filed by Advocate Keisam Kishan and Advocate N Tejpriya.
Speaking to media persons about the PIL at his Lamphelpat residence today, socio-political commentator Chongtham Bijoy said that the PIL was filed to address the sense of insecurity and worries troubling the minds of village volunteers and their parents.
Quoting the PIL, Chongtham Bijoy said that illegal Kuki immigrants and narco-terrorists have been attempting to disintegrate and occupy Manipur under a premeditated plan.
Without declaring war, the illegal immigrants and narco-terrorists started attacking Meitei people on May 3, 2023 and they drove all the Meitei people  from Churachandpur, Kangpokpi and Moreh. They have been scheming to occupy valley areas, Bijoy said.
When the Kuki narco-terrorists attacked a particular community for their grievances against the Government, the State and its security forces could not control the violence.
It was civilian youth from the valley who volunteered and defended the valley areas from the aggression of Kuki narco-terrorists, he said.
As the violence grew more intense, around 80,000 Central paramilitary forces were sent to the State. Still then, the State and Central forces did not take up any effective action on the pretext that they did not get orders from the higher authorities, and it only emboldened the Kuki narco-terrorists to create mayhem in different parts of the valley districts, Ch Bijoy said.
Compelled by the situation, village volunteers took up the responsibility of defending the valley areas. The youth gave up their professions/trades and sacrificed their normal life to defend the integrity of Manipur. Thus the village volunteers were contributing in safeguarding the boundary of India, he said.      
The PIL is seeking the High Court’s intervention to stop the operations being carried out by security forces on the ground that the village volunteers arming themselves is illegal, Bijoy said.
The PIL is also praying the Court acknowledge the village volunteers’ service. They are neither UGs nor criminals nor anti-social elements.
The violence is still going on. Until the violence is brought to an end effectively and peace is fully restored in the State, village volunteers need protection, he said.
Defending oneself when the Government is unable to protect citizens’ right to life  is a natural right, he asserted.
The PIL is seeking the High Court’s intervention to prevent arrest of village volunteers, registration of post facto FIRs, ensure rehabilitation of village volunteers by absorbing them in the Government’s security establishments and extension of financial package to those left out from recruitment in security establishments, Bijoy said.
He added that the High Court has admitted the PIL.