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Manipur violence: Supreme Court refuses to entertain activist's plea seeking directions to quash FIRs

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has refused to entertain a plea moved by a transgender activist seeking directions to quash the FIRs registered against her for fasting until death to protest against ethnic clashes in Manipur.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud, however, granted liberty to the activist, Malem Thongam, to approach the Manipur High Court for the redressal of her grievances.

"The petitioner would be at liberty to move the High Court of Manipur in the exercise of its jurisdiction under section 482 of the Code of criminal Procedure, 1973. Hence, we are not inclined to entertain a petition under Article 32 of the Constitution of India," the bench, also comprising Justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, said.

Thongam began her hunger strike in the Delhi University on February 22. She left Delhi for Manipur on February 27, where she continued her hunger strike at Imphal's Kangla western gate.

The Manipur Police arrested Thongam on March 2 on charges of attempt to die by suicide and promoting enmity between groups, but released her on March 5. A day later, she was arrested again on charges of protesting in public.

Manipur descended into chaos and untrammelled violence in May last year over a high court order directing the state government to consider including the non-tribal Meitei community in the list of Scheduled Tribes (STs).

The order led to rampant ethnic clashes in the northeastern state. More than 170 people have been killed and several hundred injured since the violence broke out on May 3 last year, when a "Tribal Solidarity March" was organised in the hill districts to protest against the majority Meitei community's demand for ST status.


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