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CRA Manipur appeals for withdrawal of FIR against 12 Meira Paibis

Imphal, January 09 2024: The Centre for Research and Advocacy (CRA), Manipur has expressed concern with the filing of a First Information Report (FIR) against twelve meira paibi leaders of Sagang village reportedly in response to their democratic resistance against deployment of security forces and militarization of their village on January 2 .

The filing of FIR by the Manipur police on the meira paibis who are the indigenous human rights defenders and threats of arbitrary detention has caused much fear and mental trauma among the targeted indigenous women in Manipur, said a statement issued by Sanaton L, president, the Centre for Research and Advocacy Manipur.

The press release asserted that women have expressed concern with the deployment of security forces in their village since November 2023 due to the concerns and fear of human rights violations and harassment on indigenous women and youths in their village.

Further, the women were concerned with the inaction, lack of response and alleged partisan role of the Indian security forces during attacks on Meitei villages by the Kuki armed groups amidst the ongoing ethnic conflict in Manipur, CRA Manipur continued to add. The statement also claimed that the Indian security forces were deployed in Manipur under the infamous Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958 to combat the armed liberation groups seeking self-determination of Manipur.

Contending that the State of Manipur has been heavily militarized amidst the ongoing counter insurgency operations, CRA Manipur pointed out that numerous cases of violence against indigenous women have been a major concern in Manipur, as also reported by the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women at the United Nations Human Rights bodies several times.

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Thus, CRA Manipur has called upon the concerned authorities of the Government of India and Manipur to withdraw all FIR filed against indigenous women and to stop all forms of threats and harassment, both physical and mental on the meira paibis.

Additionally, it demanded the Government to stop deploying security forces without the consent of the concerned villagers/indigenous women. CRA Manipur further joined the call of indigenous peoples of Manipur to repeal the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958 and to stop militarization of Manipur.

The fundamental rights of indigenous women should be upheld as per the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and other applicable international laws, including the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, it added.

The Government of India should recognize the role of the meira paibis or the indigenous women human rights defenders to advance democracy and the collective security and human rights of the indigenous peoples of Manipur, CRA Manipur said.

Reference:

Centre for Research and Advocacy - Manipur

cramanipur@gmail.com

Source: The Sangai Express, 10 January 2024

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