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Manipur violence: Hyderabad university professor moves SC against summons issued by Imphal court

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New Delhi [India]: A Hyderabad university professor on Monday approached the Supreme Court (SC) seeking quashing of the criminal proceedings initiated against him in which summons were also issued for his personal presence before a district court in Imphal.

A bench headed Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud agreed to list the matter for hearing on July 28 after senior advocate Anand Grover mentioned it for early hearing.

The petitioner, Dr Kham Khan Suan Hausing, a Professor of Political Science and also the Head of the Department of Political Science in University of Hyderabad, who belongs to Kuki tribal community, approached the top court seeking quashing of proceedings and summons.

Chief Judicial Magistrate, Imphal East, Manipur, issued summons to Hausing asking him to appear before it on July 28, 2023, in pursuance of the criminal complaint filed against him by Manipar Moirangthem Singh, a member of the Meitei Tribes Union (MTU).

The Imphal court took cognisance of the offences made out under section 153A (which deals with promoting enmity between different groups), 295A (which deals with acts outraging religious feelings), 505(1) (statements conducting public mischief), 298 (deliberate intention of wounding the religious feelings of any person), 120B (criminal conspiracy) of Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The complainant claimed that professor Hausing’s statements in an interview to Karan Thapar have defamed Meitei community and fueled communal enmity in Manipur. In the interview, Hausing had said that separate administration must be created for the Kuki community.

The petitoner sought record of entire complaint including, the statement of complainant and witnesses, the copy of complaint, copy of FIR lodged and orders passed by the court.

He said summons were issued to him in abject ignorance of the communal tension and disturbance prevailing in the State of Manipur between Kuki and Meitei community.

The plea cited the case of a lawyer, Deeksha Dwivedi, who granted interim protection after an FIR was registered against her by the Manipur Police for offences of sedition, conspiracy to wage war, etc.

The petitioner said he is similarly placed with Dwivedi’s case as he apprehends that amidst the communal tension of the two communities, there is threat to his life and liberty.

The petitioner submitted that on account of the widespread conflict in Manipur, he is apprehensive that there is a real and imminent threat to his life if he travels to Manipur to answer the summons.

Hausing further stated in his plea that on on July 6, 2023 summons were issued by the Magistrate and no case against the offences under which he was charged are made out.

He said on July 13, it has also come to his knowledge that a fresh complaint dated July 10 by one Khomdrom Manikanta Singh has also been filed with the Officer-In Charge, Imphal West Police station, Manipur alleging that Hausing is not a citizen of India and his name has been added to the electoral rolls by manipulation, fraud, forgery, and conspiracy.

The violence in Manipur between the Meiteis and the tribal Kuki, erupted after a rally by the All Tribal Students Union of Manipur (ATSUM) on May 3.

Violence has gripped the entire state for over three month now and the Central government had to deploy paramilitary forces to bring the situation under control.

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