India in the World
- On December 6, the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee voted on a draft report on EU-India relations. The report emphasises human rights and democratic values, and was passed with an overwhelming majority in favour. The final vote in plenary will take place in January 2024.
- On December 6, the US Senate held a hearing about findings that an Indian government official was reportedly involved in attempting to assassinate a US citizen of Indian origin on US soil. Senate speakers compared it to transnational oppression conducted by China, Russia and Iran. On December 4, the US Principal Deputy National Security Advisor Finer met with India’s National Security Advisor Doval and External Affairs Minister Jaishankar to discuss the matter. A few days before, India had set up an inquiry committee into the allegations. On December 20, Prime Minister Modi said that India will “definitely look into” the evidence. Earlier this year, Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau alleged that there is “credible evidence” linking India to the killing of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil. Both men targeted were reportedly militant Sikh separatists. A member of Parliament in Australia therefore called on the Australian government to give “a clear and direct assurance” that proactive measures are being taken to ensure the safety of Sikhs in the country.
- On December 7 to 9, European Commissioner for Agriculture Janusz Wojciechowski visited India with a delegation of over 50 European businesses. They showcased EU products and held meetings with India’s Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare and the Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying to discuss agricultural policy and market access.
- On December 12, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) found that 74.1% of Indians were unable to afford a healthy diet in 2021, a decrease from 76.2% in 2020.
- On December 13, India voted in favour of a UN General Assembly resolution that demanded an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict. This was the first time India has supported this demand.
- On December 18-19, Members of the European Parliament and Members of the Indian houses of parliament met in Delhi for the 15th EU-India Inter-Parliamentary Dialogue (IPM). They discussed the political situations in India and the EU ahead of their 2024 elections, trade, and geostrategic issues of mutual concern. Among them, a security and defence delegation met with India’s External Affairs Minister, the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, the Secretary of Defence, the Chief of the Indian Defence Staff, members of the Defence Committee of the Lok Sabha, and representatives of the defence industry and civil society.
Civil Society, Human Rights Defenders and Journalists
- On December 1, police registered a case against medical doctor Dr. Kafeel Khan in Uttar Pradesh state on charges of publicising his book. His book raises awareness about the government reportedly failing to supply oxygen to a hospital, causing the death of infants. Khan was previously arrested in 2017, as the government argues the book tarnishes the image of the state government and instigate minority communities for communal riots. The arrest and new case violate freedom of expression under Article 19 of the ICCPR.
- On December 9, police in Chhattisgarh state reportedly arrested eight social activists. The activists were commemorating the second anniversary of a movement against the construction of a Border Security Forces camp, which was reportedly done without the consent of the village council. 12 civil society organisations issued a statement condemning the arrests, which may violate the prohibition of arbitrary deprivation of liberty (Article 9 ICCPR) and the right to freedom of association (Article 22 ICCPR).
- On December 10, police in Kerala state reportedly registered a case against TV reporter Vinita VG, where she reported on a student union protest. The police claims she knew that protestors were planning to throw a shoe, but did not inform law enforcement about it.
- On December 12, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court quashed the preventive detention of journalist Aasif Sultan and ordered his release. Sultan was arrested over five years ago under the draconian Public Safety Act (PSA). His prolonged and arbitrary arrest appears to violate the right to liberty (Article 9 ICCPR).
- On December 16, news reported about the “Rules of Discipline and Proper Conduct of Students” by Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), which sparked concerns and criticism from students and activists. As per the new manual, JNU students may be subject to fines of up to Rs 20,000 (220 Euros) for engaging in any form of protest, including hunger strikes and peaceful sit-ins, within a 100-meter radius of academic and administrative buildings. Such curtailment of the right to protest appears to violate the rights to freedom of expression and to peaceful assembly and freedom of association under Articles 19, 21 and 22 of the ICCPR.
- On December 17, news reported that social activist Kirity Roy filed a complaint against a Border Security Forces officer for allegedly threatening and abusing an elected member of the Gram Panchayat, the village council, who is from the Muslim minority. According to the complaint, the officer threatened the man with a false cow smuggling case, which indicates threats to the rule of law and right to due process.
- On December 20, the Bombay High Court noted that there is “no material to infer senior journalist and accused Gautam Navlakha had committed a terrorist act”. Human rights defender Navlakha was arrested in the Bhima-Koregaon (BK16) case under India’s Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) in 2018, and has been kept in pre-trial detention since. His arrest, which therefore according to the court is based on unsubstantiated facts, violates the right to liberty and prohibition of arbitrary detention (Article 9 ICCPR).
Media and Technology
- On December 10, the Washington Post published a report on the “Disinfo Lab”, an anonymous website that reportedly discredits human rights groups and progressive Indian diaspora by spreading disinformation. The report alleges that Disinfo Lab is run by an Indian intelligence officer. This raises serious concerns about Indian officials’ commitment to the protection of human rights defenders, especially to the action points in the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders.
- On December 8, India’s Electronics and Information Technology Ministry told Parliament that it had asked social media platforms to block at least 36,838 URLs between 2018 and October 2023 under the IT Act. It also said that between 2018 and October 2023, the Centre sent 13,660 blocking orders to social media platform X, formerly Twitter, 10,197 blocking orders to Facebook, 3,023 to Instagram, 5,759 to YouTube, and 4,199 to other unspecified social media intermediaries. The number of blocking orders for X saw a steady increase from just 224 in 2018 to 3,390 in 2023 till October. This raises concerns about censorship in violation of the freedom of expression of journalists under Article 19 of the ICCPR.
- On December 18, the Lok Sabha (Lower House of Parliament) tabled the Telecommunications Bill 2023. The bill has drawn concerns about enabling
surveillance and allowing for blanket internet shutdownsin violation of human rights law. Under the bill, internet shutdowns would be allowed on grounds of “sovereignty, “integrity or national security”, “friendly relations with foreign states”, “public order”, and “preventing incitement to an offence”. Blanket internet shutdowns violate the rights to freedom of expression and to peaceful assembly and freedom of association under Articles 19, 21 and 22 of the ICCPR. These rights may only be restricted on limited grounds, i.e. national security, public order, public health, morals or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.
- On December 17, the Adani Group announced it acquired a 50.5% equity stake in the news agency IANS. The Adani Group is accused of serious market manipulation and accounting fraud, and previous investigations identified close ties to and favouritism by the Modi government. In 2022, Adani already bought NDTV, in what commentators called a “blow to independent media”.
- On December 18, the Delhi Police arrested four people in connection with a leak of the Indian Council of Medical Research data. Two months before, the personal data, including passport records, of over 810 million Indians had been leaked and put up for sale on the dark web, in serious violation of the right to privacy (Article 17 ICCPR).
- On December 20, the Lok Sabha (lower house of Parliament) passed the Telecommunications Bill 2023, in absence of most opposition members. It has drawn severe criticism over concerns for privacy, free expression and human rights more broadly. The law provides for the Union government to temporarily take control of telecom services in the interest of national security or in case of public emergencies. It also provides for the interception of messages and their transmission to be stopped in case of a public emergency.
- On December 26, the central government issued an advisory to all social media corporations to comply with the Information Technology Rules amid “growing concerns around misinformation powered by AI-deepfakes.” In November, following a high-profile deepfake, the central government had issued a similar advisory, ordering them to remove deepfakes within 36 hours of complaints.
- On December 28, Amnesty International and the Washington Post released evidence that an unknown government agency has used the Pegasus spyware to target the phones of two journalists in India, Siddharth Varadarajan of The Wire and Anand Mangnale of the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project. This is at least the second time the Pegasus spyware has been used.
Political Parties and Election Monitoring
- On December 3, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won state elections in three states. It recorded a landslide victory in Madhya Pradesh’s state elections. The BJP also won with over half the seats in the Rajasthan state elections, and secured an absolute majority in the Chhattisgarh state elections.
- On December 15, Bhajanlal Sharma was sworn in as the new Chief Minister of Rajasthan following the BJP’s election win in the state. Sharma is reportedly an active member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a Hindu supremacist organisation that is the ideological parent entity of the BJP. He was also reportedly actively involved in the agitation to build a Hindu temple at the site of the Babri mosque, which Hindu supremacists extrajudicially demolished in 1992.
- On December 31, Home Minister Amit Shah announced that the Kashmiri separatist party, Tehreek-e-Hurriyat (TeH) will be declared an “unlawful association” for five years under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
In focus: National Crimes Record Bureau
- Crimes against Scheduled Castes increased by 13.1%. For the third consecutive year, Uttar Pradesh state reported the highest number of crimes against Scheduled Castes at 15,368 cases, an increase from 13,146 in 2021. Rajasthan ranked second with 8,752 cases, an increase from 7,524 in 2021.
- Crimes against Scheduled Tribes increased by 14.3%.
- Cases for “promoting enmity between different groups”, which covers hate speech, increased by 31.25% from 2021. Most cases were registered in Uttar Pradesh state, followed by Rajasthan.
- Crimes against women increased by 4%.
- Crimes against children increased by 8.7%.
- Cyber crimes increased by 24.4%, suggesting a growing digital impact on criminal activities.
- Over 75% of prisoners in Indian jails were under-trials.
- Indian prisons had an occupancy of 131%.
- The reasons for 63 unnatural prison deaths in 2022 were unknown.
Hate Crimes and Hate Speech against Minorities
- On December 4, Hindu supremacists reportedly attacked a 15-year-old boy from the Muslim community as he was returning from school in Uttar Pradesh state. The attackers filmed the incident and shared it on social media.
- On December 5, three people reportedly beat to death a man from the Muslim community in West Bengal state. The attackers had accused the victim of being a thief. This raises questions about the state’s ability to protect citizens’ right to life (Article 6 ICCPR) and about the right to be assumed innocent until proven guilty.
- On December 14, the United Christian Front, an Indian human rights group working with Christian minorities, published new data that shows two Christians are attacked daily in India on average. Via their helpline, they recorded at least 687 incidents of violence in the 334 days of 2023 so far. This raises questions about the state’s ability to protect citizens’ right to life (Article 6 ICCPR) regardless of their religion (Article 2 ICCPR).
- On December 6, Hindu supremacist leaders met to celebrate the demolition of the Babri Mosque at an event organised by the militant Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and its youth wing, the Bajrang Dal. Hindu supremacists extrajudicially demolished the Babri mosque in 1992. At the event, the speakers engaged in hate speech. For instance, one speaker reportedly said: “This is not the country of Gandhi anymore who preached of offering another cheek if someone slaps you at one, this country is changed. If a Muslim tries to slap you, cut his hand and give it in another hand.” These incidents raise questions about the state’s ability to prohibit advocating religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence (Article 20 ICCPR).
- On December 16, India’s Home Minister Amit Shah reportedly justified the 2002 Gujarat Riots that killed at least 1044 people, claiming that they taught Muslims “a lesson”. Shah reportedly said: “In 2002, there were riots and thereafter Modi saheb taught a lesson to not repeat the act. Have there been riots thereafter? The rioters were taught such a lesson in 2002 that to date no one dares to cause riots in Gujarat.” The incident constitutes a senior minister advocating for religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence (Article 20 ICCPR). The United Kingdom concluded that Narendra Modi was “directly responsible” for the systematic violence.
- On December 17, the Rajasthan Police arrested one person for reportedly raping a 20-year-old Dalit (“untouchable”) woman in a bus on December 9. Such a gender- and caste-based atrocity raises questions about the state’s ability to protect its citizens’ rights regardless of their caste and gender.
- On December 17, police arrested a teacher and principal of a government-run school in Karnataka state, as they allegedly forced Dalit (“untouchable”) students to manually clean a septic tank. This violates the prohibition of “manual scavenging” under India’s domestic law, i.e. the manual cleaning of human faeces and sanitation systems, which Dalits have historically been forced into, and which violates human dignity and constitutes inhuman and degrading treatment (Article 7 ICCPR).
- On December 29, Karnataka police arrested a man in a 31-year-old rioting case, which took place ahead of the extrajudicial demolition of the Babri Mosque by Hindu supremacists in 1992. The Karnataka Police commented that the arrest is part of routine efforts to address long-pending cases.
Religious Freedoms and Minority Rights
- On December 1, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Union Minister Giriraj Singh called for the closure of “illegal madrasas [Islamic schools]” in Bihar state, alleging that they pose a “threat to the internal security of the state and the nation.” In his speech, he also claimed that the “people of Bihar” will face “a major threat to their wealth and their faith” without action against Islamic schools, thereby circulating dangerous disinformation. The incident may constitute a ruling party lawmaker advocating for religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence (Article 20 ICCPR), and advocates for violations of the right of parents to “choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children” (Article 26 UDHR).
- On December 1, the Uttar Pradesh Police filed a case against 42 people and arrested nine of them for allegedly luring poor and tribal people to convert to Christianity. Several BJP-ruled states have passed laws criminalising professing one’s religion and converting, in violation of the right to family life (Article 23) and right to freedom of religion (Article 18) in the ICCPR. Such laws have also emboldened vigilante groups, who engage in extrajudicial violence against people from religious minorities in response to alleged violations of these laws.
- On December 4, a video circulated showing newly elected Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator Balmakund Acharya ordering the closure of all meat stalls run by the Muslim community in his constituency in Rajasthan state. The BJP had won the election in Rajasthan state just days before and Acharya was not yet sworn in. On December 6, he apologised for his actions. This violates the right to work under Article 6 ICESCR, which includes the right of everyone to “the opportunity to gain his living by work which he freely chooses or accepts”.
- On December 8, a public school reportedly dismissed a teacher in Uttar Pradesh state from duty after Hindu supremacist groups claimed that “he did not respond appropriately” to a student’s Hindu religious greeting. The principal issued an apology and promised “measures to prevent such incidents in the future.” This may violate the right of everyone to “manifest his religion or belief in workshop, observance, practice or teaching” (Article 18 ICCPR).
- On December 8, the Rajya Sabha (Upper House of Parliament) reportedly announced it would end the 30-minute break allowed for Muslim lawmakers to perform Friday prayers. A break for Friday prayers has been the norm for over 60 years. This may violate the right of everyone to “manifest his religion or belief in workshop, observance, practice or teaching” (Article 18 ICCPR).
- On December 25, a Hindu supremacist group held a rally in Tripura state, demanding that tribals who converted to Christianity should be removed from the “Scheduled Tribes” list, which guarantees certain reservations and benefits. Such a demand may violate the right to freedom of religion (Article 18) in the ICCPR.
- On December 25, Prime Minister Narendra Modi organised Christmas celebrations in his residence. Following this, approximately 3200 Christians, among them one MP, signed a statement protesting against community leaders who participated in the celebrations, citing “continued attacks and vilification” of the Christian community by the BJP government.
- On December 26, authorities in Madhya Pradesh state reportedly demolished the homes of persons accused of having harmed a cow. However, the police claimed that the demolitions were in connection with a separate case of illegal construction.
- On December 28, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma deleted and apologised for a social media post which reinforced caste hierarchy. In the post, he had argued that lower caste people have “natural duties” towards dominant caste people.
- On December 6, Parliament passed two legislations on Jammu and Kashmir, a conflict region that India unilaterally stripped of its constitutionally guaranteed semi-autonomy in 2019. The Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2023 and the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2023 introduce reservations in politics and government jobs for marginalised groups and migrants, the scope of which has been criticised.
- On 12 December, the Rajya Sabha (upper house of Indian Parliament) passed the Election Commission (Conditions of Service of Election Commissioners and Transaction of Business) Bill, 2023. The Election Commissioners will now be appointed by 3 people: The Prime Minister, a person appointed by the Prime Minister, and the opposition leader. This raises crucial concerns about the independence of the appointment process and of India’s upcoming 2024 elections.
- On December 20, the Lok Sabha (Lower House of Parliament) passed the three proposed criminal law reform bills, which had come under severe criticism. India’s President Droupadi Murmu gave assent on December 25. Civil society notes that the Bills proposed first expand police powers, create a new offence that de facto widens the definition of “sedition”, and do not include procedural safeguards against false implication in terrorism cases. The proposed bill also also expands the definition of “terrorism” to include “economic security”. On November 6, the standing committee of the Lok Sabha (Parliament) had adopted a report on the new proposed Criminal Law reform Bills, and on December 12, the Home Ministry revised the proposed bills. The revised Bills tabled on December 12 are shorter, but reportedly retain the same problematic issues.
- Throughout December, the two houses of Parliament disqualified 141 members of Parliament. This came after December 13, when two men jumped on the Lok Sabha (Lower House of Parliament) floor from the visitors’ gallery and ignited canisters of yellow smoke, and shouted “Long Live India”. This took place just hours after MPs paid tribute to those who died in a terror attack on the Parliament in 2001, triggering panic among the MPs. According to officials, one of the accused said during questioning that he wanted to “get the attention of the Prime Minister so the government looks after issues such as inflation, poverty, etc.” Subsequently, the two houses of Parliament began a wave of MPs being suspended: On December 14, 14 MPs were reportedly suspended, after they reportedly called on the Home Minister to give a statement explaining the security breach. On December 18, an additional 34 MPs from the Lok Sabha were reportedly suspended. On December 18, the Rajya Sabha (Upper House of Parliament) also reportedly suspended 45 MPs via voice vote for the rest of the winter session, for “causing disturbance” when they continued to demand a statement. By December 20, 141 opposition MPs were disqualified.
- On December 13, amidst MPs from the opposition being suspended, the Rajya Sabha (Upper House of Parliament) passed the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Second Amendment) Bill, 2023, and the Government of Union Territories (Amendment) Bill, 2023, to increase women’s quota in Jammu and Kashmir and Puducherry Assemblies. Amendments to the bills proposed by Opposition MPs John Brittas, Binoy Viswam, and V Sivadasan were reportedly not considered as the members were not in their seats to move them.
- On December 8, the Lok Sabha (Lower House of Parliament) expelled female Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra. She was accused of taking bribes in return for asking questions in Parliament and sharing her log-in details to the Parliament website with third parties. Moitra was reportedly not given space to defend her case, and opposition members allege that the investigation involved “unethical” and “offensive” personal questions.
- On December 6, a video circulated showing local authorities in Chhattisgarh state bulldozing predominantly Muslim-owned shops over allegations of encroachment, on directions of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator Brijmohan Agarwal. The BJP had won the election in Chhattisgarh state just days before. The process followed for these demolitions raises concerns about due process and the right to equal protection of the law (Article 26 ICCPR) and the right to housing (Article 11 ICESCR).
- On December 2, the Jammu and Kashmir police dropped charges under India’s anti-terror-law, the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), against seven University students. The police had arrested the students on November 20 after they allegedly made pro-Pakistan statements following Australia’s victory against India in cricket. The arrests may violate the prohibition of arbitrary deprivation of liberty (Article 9 ICCPR) and the right to freedom of expression (Article 19 ICCPR).
- On December 14, authorities in Madhya Pradesh state extrajudicially demolished the homes of three Muslim men accused of attacking a BJP worker. This took place a day after the BJP’s Mohan Yadav was sworn in as Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister. The process followed for these demolitions raises concerns about due process and the right to equal protection of the law (Article 26 ICCPR) and the right to housing (Article 11 ICESCR).
- On December 22, security forces in Jammu and Kashmir detained eight civilians for questioning after militants reportedly killed five Indian army personnel. Three of them were found dead that night. Family members and political leaders have claimed that the three were beaten to death by the Indian army, which would constitute a grave deprivation of the right to life (Article 6 ICCPR). Additionally, one of the detained civilians reported that they were “stripped, beaten and smeared with ‘chilli powder on the wounds’ until they lost consciousness”, in violation of the absolute prohibition of torture (Article 7 ICCPR).
- On December 23, Gujarat police charged Congress leader and former MP Virji Thummar with defamation over “objectionable” comments against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Thummar had publicly claimed that PM Modi is showing favouritism toward specific large corporations.
- On December 29, the central government, Assam state government and the separatist organisation United Liberation Front of Asom reportedly signed a peace accord, ending a decades-old insurgency.
- On December 29, the Gujarat government reportedly revoked the security that had been given to witnesses, lawyers and a former judge in cases related to the 2002 Gujarat riots.
- On December 30, Uttar Pradesh arrested three people for alleged gang-rape of a student. Among the arrested are reportedly two members of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) IT Cell.
- An analysis of eight politically sensitive cases shows they were moved to a single judge of the Supreme Court over the past four months, even though the rules of assignment say they should remain with the senior judge or before a judge hearing a similar case. This raises questions about the independence of the judiciary.
- On December 8, the Supreme Court noted that the governor of Tamil Nadu state is obstructing 12 new bills from being passed, which it called a “matter of serious concern”. This year alone, Telangana, Punjab and Kerala have approached the Supreme Court with allegations that their governor was obstructing legislative and executive work. Commentators note that these are all states ruled by the opposition. As the governor is appointed by the central government, they expressed concerns about the central government potentially using governors to stifle democratically elected state governments.
- On December 11, the Supreme Court upheld the unilateral abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution in 2019, which stripped Jammu and Kashmir of its semi-autonomous status. The Court also ordered Jammu and Kashmir to hold local elections by September 30 2024. On the day of the verdict, the Jammu and Kashmir police reportedly placed several Kashmiri political leaders under house arrest, including two former Chief Ministers, and suspended University classes. The Supreme Court also directed the central government to restore the statehood of Jammu and Kashmir as soon as possible, and one judge recommended an “impartial truth and reconciliation commission” be set up in Kashmir to investigate human rights violations by both “state and non-state actors” over the past few decades. The Supreme Court had left petitions on the abrogation of Article 370 pending since 2019. Following the abrogation in 2019, the government imposed a crackdown, with the longest internet shutdown ever recorded in an alleged democracy.
- On December 14, the Allahabad High Court approved a survey of the Shahi Idgah mosque by a court-appointed and monitored advocate commissioner, and the Supreme Court on December 15 refused to stay the order. This is in response to petitions filed by Hindu supremacists, who claim that the mosque stands on the birthplace of Lord Krishna (a Hindu God). Previous similar disputes have led to violence, most notably with a mob extrajudicially demolishing the Babri Mosque in 1992.
- On December 15, the judge who presided over the “Delhi riots conspiracy” case was transferred. Human rights defenders and activists have been targeted and falsely implicated in the case. Their prolonged detention without trial violates their right to “a fair and public hearing by a competent, independent, and impartial tribunal established by law” (Article 14 ICCPR) and the prohibition of arbitrary deprivation of liberty (Article 9 ICCPR).
- On December 15, a court in Uttar Pradesh state sentenced a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator to 25 years in jail for raping a 15-year-old girl in 2014.
Business and Economy
- On December 6, the Union Power Minister refused to answer questions over allegations against the Adani group. On October 12, the Financial Times had published an investigation that found that the Adani Group “appears to have imported billions of dollars of coal at prices well above market value”. The data supports long standing allegations that Adani, the country’s largest private coal importer, has been inflating fuel costs and led millions of Indian consumers and businesses to overpay for electricity.
- On December 15, the Indian Defence Research Wing reported that in a move to bolster India’s defence capabilities, Adani Defence partnered with Elbit Systems, an Israeli defence firm.
Armed Conflict in Manipur
Since May 3, 2023, there has been an ongoing armed conflict in Manipur, North-Eastern India, after longstanding ethnic conflict between the Kuki (mostly Christian) and the Meitei (mostly Hindu, but also Christian).
- On December 3, the Manipur government restored mobile Internet services until December 18, except for areas within a 2-kilometre radius of areas dominated by Kuki and Meitei, the two ethnic groups involved in the conflict. This is a minor improvement, as the internet has been shut down in Manipur since May 2023, making it the second longest shutdown in India, following a previous one in Kashmir. Such blanket internet shutdowns violate the rights to freedom of expression and to peaceful assembly and freedom of association under Articles 19, 21 and 22 of the ICCPR.
- On December 4, security forces found the bodies of 13 men injured by bullets, more than 100 kilometres from their homes.
- On December 4, the Supreme Court said that the approximately 4747 students who have fled due to the violence in Manipur can pursue their studies online.
- On December 5, the Supreme Court stayed criminal proceedings against independent journalist Makepeace Sitlhou, after she made critical remarks on Twitter against the Manipur government’s alleged failure to control the spiralling violence in the state.
- On December 14, the Manipur government airlifted the bodies of 64 victims and returned them to their respective families.
- On December 15, the Supreme Court directed the Manipur government to inform a court-appointed committee about the steps it has taken to secure places of worship in the state, especially ahead of Christmas.
Compiled by The London Story.