4 Manipur Lawyers Have Withdrawn From Representing A Kuki Professor In The High Court Due To Threats


In a concerning development, four lawyers based in Imphal have opted to withdraw from representing Professor Kham Khan Suan Hausing, a member of the Kuki community, in a case before the Manipur High Court. This decision stems from alleged threats made by members of the Meitei community, as reported in the case of Kham Khan Suan Hausing vs. the State of Manipur and Ors.

Advocate S Chittaranjan conveyed this decision to Justice A Guneshwar Sharma, citing "personal difficulties" as the reason for withdrawal. While the Court acknowledged the lawyers' statements and granted their withdrawal, media reports suggest that their decision was primarily driven by threats from the Meitei community.

Professor Hausing, a vocal Kuki academic, has raised concerns about the State government's alleged role in the radicalization of the Meitei community. He faces a private criminal case in Imphal initiated by Meitei civilians based on an interview he gave to a news website.

Initially, Senior Advocate Anand Grover was representing Professor Hausing, with assistance from advocates S Chittaranjan, Victor Chongtham, Th Zingo, and A Priyokumar Sharma. However, the lawyers reportedly decided to withdraw from the case due to threats and acts of vandalism by members of the Meitei community.

Chongtham, one of the lawyers, revealed that these threats preceded their withdrawal from the case. Professor Hausing also confirmed that the lawyers had received threats, and one of their offices was vandalized.

The State of Manipur has been grappling with violent clashes since earlier this year, sparked by opposition from certain tribes to the Meitei community's demand for Scheduled Tribe status. The Supreme Court of India is currently examining a series of petitions related to the Manipur violence, including a plea by two women from the Kuki-Zomi community who were subjected to public humiliation and assault by a mob of men. Recently, a committee led by former Chief Justice of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, Justice Gita Mittal, submitted three reports to the Supreme Court on the Manipur crisis, recommending increased compensation for victims of the violence.

Author: Anushka Taraniya

News Writer, MIT ADT University