Sunday, December 3, 2023

SC panel tells Manipur govt to dispose unclaimed bodies respectfully

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As unclaimed bodies fill up in morgues across Manipur due to the ongoing ethnic violence in the state that killed over 200 people, a three-member committee of former judges constituted by the Supreme Court has advised that the state government take action.

The panel asked the government to publish a list of the dead so that their next of kin can be identified, and if no one comes forward, bodies should be disposed of in a “respectable manner”, The Indian Express reported.

last week, Manipur police stated that 96 bodies continue to remain unclaimed in the morgues. In August health officials had told Maktoob that the morgues had been at full capacity leaving them worried.

The three-member committee of former High Court judges, headed by retired J&K High Court Chief Justice Gita Mittal, was appointed last month by the Supreme Court.

According to the English paper, Manipur Chief Secretary Vineet Joshi listed out measures taken by the state to upgrade its Victim’s Compensation Scheme in an affidavit submitted to the top court on Friday.

Meiteis, predominantly Hindus, and Kuki-Zo tribal communities have been fighting in the Northeastern state since May 03, with territories divided on ethnic lines.

Bodies of people from Kuki-Zo are lying in morgues in Manipur’s capital Imphal as their families have not claimed them. Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF) had directed the families to not claim the bodies, with the stated objective of pressuring the government to transport bodies lying in morgues in Imphal to their home areas.

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