Image credit: Imphal Free Press
Image credit: Imphal Free Press

Manipur in the last five years have witnessed the increase in the numbers of under-trial prisoners (UTPs), stated the India Justice Report 2019.

“Even though the number of pending cases in the High Court of Manipur and sub-courts per judge and judge vacancies is reduced, the number of under-trial prisoners in the state, however, has increased,” the report stated.

The report was presented by Tata Trust representative Vala Singh in Imphal on Sunday at a programme called Access to Justice in Manipur.

The programme was organised by the Manipur Human Rights Commission (MHRC) and Human Rights Alert.

Speaking on the occasion, Singh said, “Manipur has high-level vacancies across the ranks of police. One in four officer posts is vacant.”

He also informed that the number of females in the force has increased in the last five years.

“Even after around 30 per cent vacancies, there is only one staff for every two inmates,” Singh added.

Singh further informed that in the judiciary system one in three posts for judges is vacant at the Manipur High Court.

“For legal aid, about half of the District Legal Service Authority does not have a full-time secretary sanctioned,” he added.

Taking part in the programme, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) director Sanjoy Hazarika spoke and highlighted about Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA), 1958 and Inner Line Permit (ILP) system in Manipur.

In his address, Manipur DIGP K Kabib said, “The Manipur police department is facing issues concerning lack of infrastructure.”

“There are shortages of police forces in the far-flung areas,” he reiterated.

“In such areas, several cases go unreported and many issues are dealt through customary forms of settlement,” he added.

Others who spoke include MHRC acting chairperson Khaidem Mani and Huma Rights Alert executive director Babloo Loitongbam.

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