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13 Jul, 2023 19:39

India blasts 'unacceptable' EU parliament resolution over 'colonialist mindset'

New Delhi says Europe would be well advised to look instead at ‘internal issues’ in its own backyard
India blasts 'unacceptable' EU parliament resolution over 'colonialist mindset'

India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday night issued a statement after the Strasbourg-based European Parliament had earlier in the day adopted a resolution concerning Indian affairs, and just as its Prime Minister Narendra Modi was landing in Paris.

We have seen that the European Parliament held a discussion on developments in Manipur and adopted a so-called Urgency Resolution. Such interference in India’s internal affairs is unacceptable, and reflects a colonial mindset,” MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said. “Indian authorities at all levels, including the judiciary, are seized of the situation in Manipur and are taking steps to maintain peace and harmony and law and order. The European Parliament would be well advised to utilize its time more productively on its internal issues,” he added.

The latest statement comes a day after Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra described the situation in India’s northeastern state of Manipur, where violence broke out in May this year, claiming lives and destroying people’s livelihoods, as “totally internal to India.”

The EU resolution “strongly urges” Indian authorities to put in place all “necessary measures to promptly halt the ethnic and religious violence and to protect all religious minorities,” as well as to “allow independent investigations to look into the violence.” The text of the resolution highlighted that “intolerance” towards minority communities “has contributed to the current violence” and that there have been concerns about “politically motivated, divisive policies that promote Hindu majoritarianism in the area.” It went further to state that the decision of the state government to ban Internet services had “severely hindered reporting” and further “increased distrust in the authorities.”

On July 7, the Manipur High Court ordered the state government to lift the ban on Internet Lease Line (ILL) connections in the state after ensuring that all stakeholders complied with safeguards suggested by an expert committee set up by the government. The order was challenged, however, at the Supreme Court of India. 

In the latest report filed in that court, the state government listed the steps it has taken to maintain law and order, including heavy security deployment and conditional relaxation of the Internet ban on a case-by-case basis, Indian media reported. Earlier the Supreme Court stated it was not a platform to be used for escalating tensions in Manipur, while asking the warring ethnic groups to exercise restraint during the court proceedings. The court also made it clear that it could not take over the law and order and security apparatus to bring an end to the violence in Manipur, as this is the duty of the central and state government.