The European Parliament has adopted a strongly-worded resolution on the ethnic violence in Manipur state, India, which has claimed the lives of more than 130 people since May.
The resolution, which was tabled by six parliamentary groups, criticized the Indian government’s handling of the situation and accused it of implementing “divisive policies promoting Hindu majoritarianism”.
The resolution called on the Indian authorities to allow unhindered humanitarian aid to those affected, to allow independent monitors to carry out investigations, and to withdraw the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), which gives sweeping powers to the security forces in the region.
It also urged all sides to exercise restraint and for political leaders to stop making inflammatory statements to re-establish trust.
The Indian government has condemned the resolution as an “unacceptable interference” in its internal affairs and a reflection of a “colonial mindset”. It said the EU Parliament should focus on its own internal issues and respect India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. It also defended its actions as necessary to maintain law and order and peace in Manipur.
The violence in Manipur erupted in May following protests by indigenous communities – primarily the Kukis – against the demand seeking tribal status for the Meiteis, who are the majority community in the state. Since then, people from both communities have attacked each other’s homes, vehicles, churches, and temples, officials say. The clashes have resulted in the complete segregation of the Kuki and Meitei communities in the state.
The resolution came as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in France on a two-day visit on Thursday. He was conferred with the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour, France’s highest civilian honor.