India opposes EU Parliament’s debate on Manipur

New Delhi: Having been unable to persuade members of the European Parliament not to hold an urgent debate on the Manipur situation, the government said the matter was “totally internal to India”.

Speaking on the debate, which will be held on the eve of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to France, Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra said: “We made efforts to reach out to EU parliamentarians. The matter is totally internal to India.”

The Foreign Secretary was asked to respond to a report that New Delhi had hired a lobbying firm, Alber & Geiger, which had issued a statement to the European Parliament. “We are writing to draw your attention and share our views regarding the ‘Urgency Resolution’ on India, the situation in Manipur… the instability, unfortunately, has been ongoing for a long time. Currently, the Government of India is working incessantly in order to mitigate the conflict and restore peace,” read the statement published in the Imphal Times.

The motion “The Manipur matter” has been scheduled for discussion under the “Debates on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the Rule of Law”. The groups of parliamentarians range from the Left, European Socialists and Greens to regionalist parties, Conservatives and centre-right political and Christian groups. The motion also speaks of human rights abuses, and cracking down on dissent, civil society and media.

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