Manipur violence: Unclaimed Bodies and Family Pressure on Last Rites, Panel Urges SC Intervention

The ground situation report on ethnic conflicts in Manipur, commissioned by the Supreme Court and led by former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Justice Gita Mittal, accuses state NGOs of obstructing the cremation of 88 bodies stored in mortuaries.

The report points out that these organizations are also preventing the acceptance of ex gratia, with civil society groups allegedly pressuring relatives not to claim the bodies. Furthermore, the report highlights how certain CSOs are opposing the performance of last rites, contributing to tensions between communities.

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With a significant number of individuals who lost their lives in Manipur since May 3 still unclaimed in state mortuaries, the Supreme Court-appointed panel, headed by Gita Mittal, expresses concern about relatives facing “pressure” from civil society organizations to avoid claiming the bodies.

The panel reportedly recommends Supreme Court intervention, suggesting that the court direct victims’ relatives to conduct the last rites. If they fail to do so, the panel proposes that the Manipur government step in. Additionally, the panel suggests that the Supreme Court impose restrictions on civil society organizations to prevent interference in this matter.


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