In Manipur, efforts on to bring back sense of normalcy: EAM Jaishankar

In Manipur, efforts on to bring back sense of normalcy: EAM Jaishankar

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has said efforts are on in Manipur by the state and the central governments to find a way by which a sense of normalcy returns and there is adequate law-and-order enforcement.

“…I think one part of the problem in Manipur has been the destabilising impact of migrants who have come,” he said Tuesday at the Council on Foreign Relations in response to a question on the situation in the northeastern state in India.

“But there are also tensions which obviously have a long history which precede that. And today, I think the effort is on the part of the state government and the Union government to find a way by which a sense of normalcy returns, that arms which were seized during that period are recovered, that there is an adequate law-and-order enforcement out there so that incidents of violence don’t happen,” the minister said.

Earlier this month, a group of United Nations experts said they are “appalled” by reports and images of violence in Manipur targeting women and girls, and urged the Indian government to take robust action to investigate the incidents and hold the perpetrators to account.

The experts raised an alarm on reports of serious human rights violations and abuses in Manipur, including acts of alleged sexual violence, extrajudicial killings, home destruction, forced displacement, torture and ill-treatment.

India had rejected these comments, calling them “unwarranted, presumptive and misleading”, and asserted that the situation in the state was peaceful.

Jaishankar was asked about him dismissing these comments as “presumptive”.

“The comment wasn’t made by me personally but by the spokesperson. Was that comment correct? My answer to you would be yes,” he said.

The minister was also asked about reports by Sweden’s V-Dem Institute and the US government-funded NGO Freedom House that had criticised India on freedom and democracy.

Jaishankar had slammed the two organisations for their “hypocrisy” and called them “self-appointed custodians of the world who find it very difficult to stomach that somebody in India is not looking for their approval”.

Responding to the question on this at the CFR event, he said, “I think it answers the question if you would be objective enough to understand it. I think it says very clearly that the people who are writing these reports have a strong bias, often they distort facts. Many of these reports are actually riddled with inaccuracies.”