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Manipur Violence: Humanity Shattered in Blood & Disgust on 4th May 2023

No amount of condemnation can undo the horrors of Manipur Violence that took place in broad daylight in front of Police forces. The consciousness of Humanity was disgusted, raped, and horrified by a mob of bloodthirsty people of the Meitei community who in were so outraged by the Kukis that they stripped the clothes from the body of innocent Kuki girls, paraded them naked on the streets, killed their family members and gang-raped the youngest one. Let us start with how the situation turned into a time bomb in Manipur. The government at the center will likely take action against social media specifically Twitter for taking down the content.

Armed Insurgency in Manipur
Armed Insurgency in Manipur

Watershed Event in Manipur Violence

To understand the watershed event we will have to go into the geography, topography, and history of the land. Manipur is native to the Meitei tribe who mostly reside in the Valley of the State. The Kuki and the Naga tribe are the other major tribes of the state.

The present land laws in the state allow tribals to purchase land in Imphal Valley but no Meities from the Imphal Valley can purchase land in the hills, the Meiteis see this as discriminatory. This different set of rules which govern land ownership in Manipur, in turn, has created animosity between the tribals and the Meiteis. The demand of the Meiteis is that all the citizens of the state should be governed by the same rules whereas the hill people (tribals) stick to their claim that ‘different origin has different destiny’.

Major Tribes (Broad Names)Population PercentageLand AreaReligion
Pangals & Other17%(Interspersed between Valley & Hills) (Muslim, Jains, Buddhist, Nepali + Other religions)
Conflict Table of Manipur Molotov Cocktail of Manipur

The violence began on May 3, 2023, after the All Tribal Students Union Manipur (ATSUM) held a solidarity march in all districts opposing the recent Manipur High Court order, which had asked the Manipur State government to send a recommendation to the Centre regarding the demand to include the Meitei community in the Scheduled Tribes (STs) list. Only Scheduled Tribes (STs) in Manipur can buy land in the hill areas that comprise 90% of land in Manipur.

Culture of Manipur
Culture of Manipur

On May 4, as the violence escalated, the Centre invoked Article 355 of the Constitution, which is a part of emergency provisions. It empowers the Centre to take necessary steps to protect a State against external aggression or internal disturbances. In the last few days, convoys of trucks belonging to the Army, the Assam Rifles, the Rapid Action Force, and local police personnel have moved into the State and entered several affected areas. – The Hindu Front Line

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Background to the Story

In the long history of Manipur, there was not a single instance of a communal riot in Manipur’s history until December 1992 when riots broke out between the Nagas and the Kukis; these continued up to 1995. This lasted for precisely 30 hours (03-04 May 1993), however, the casualties were not less. It was sparked off due to a rumor and subsided as soon as it flared, as there were no outside instigators to fuel the divide and the other factor was the entrenched social binding.

It was followed by another communal/ethnic flare-up between the Kukis and the Paites who belonged to the same Kuki-Chin Mizo groups in the year 1997–98. Thus historical prejudice is keeping hatred among different ethnic groups alive – Excerpt Vivekananda Foundation India

The silence of PM and HM on Manipur
The silence of PM and HM on Manipur

The first communal conflict was between the people of the Hills that is Kukis and Nagas both belonging to Christianity. Therefore we hear no NAGA statements or intervention when Kukis and Meiteis were fighting. Neither they were harmed, or displaced nor did they intervene to stop the violence.

Some people consider that having a militant outfit from their community is essential for their survival and to look after their interests.

What leads to the Gangrape of Kuki women in Manipur?

A Fake News yes. History repeats itself and when there is mistrust it spreads like wildfire. Here are a bunch of them that did the unthinkable. Some of them are as follows.

The debate on the ethnic violence began in Manipur on May 3, When News circulated that the Kuki men are at the forefront of assaulting Meitei women torturing them, burning them, and raping them. This led people from the Meitei community to target women from the Kuki community. Most instances of Kuki men turned out to be fake news. However, it was too late. Horror and Brutality awaited the Kuki women.

In Manipur, such fake information about rapes of Meitei women is being used by perpetrators of that community to justify their atrocities as “vengeance”. Women’s Bodies as Instruments to Demonise the ‘Other’ To promote their propaganda and strengthen public support, militant Meitei groups circulated the fake news that the Kukis were raping Meitei women in the Churachandpur district. The Director General of Police (DGP) of Manipur, P Doungel, clarified there were no cases of rape of Meitei women in Churachandpur.

There was also an allegation that a Meitei nurse in the Churachandpur Medical College was raped and killed. A picture was circulated as “proof”, but it turned out to be of a woman killed in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, in 2022. What is more, the father of the purported Meitei nurse, K Achouba, clarified via ISTV, a local news channel in Imphal, that his daughter was safe and the rumors about her were incorrect. Some Meitei protesters displayed a huge photo of a woman during a recent protest at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi. They claimed it was of a Meitei woman who was physically assaulted by members of the Kuki community.

While the image strengthened the portrayal of Kuki-Zo males as “hordes of rapists”, the photo was confirmed to be of a domestic abuse victim from Arunachal Pradesh. Another widely-circulated disinformation was that the “bodies of 37 Meitei rape victims along with that of a 7-year-old child are lying in the morgue of Shija Hospital in Imphal”. But the hospital has strongly denied the claim. In fact, it has firmly stated that the Shija Hospital does not perform post-mortem examinations.

Therefore, two questions arise in the context of the violence in Manipur: did the perpetrators believe (or still believe) that “Meitei women were raped in Churachandpur by the Kuki-Zo men”, which is fake news that has been negated many times?

Or, was this ‘news’ spread as part of a planned disinformation campaign, which hoped to create a pretext and allow the perpetrators to justify their premeditated atrocities? – Excerpt from Newsclick

Internet Ban on Manipur Violence

The Internet is a medium to promote information. It can be used to promote hatred as well as good news. While the internet was banned at a crucial time also led to suspicion that such incidents might actually have happened and that the government is trying to hide and contain the situation. The internet could have been used to curtail the situation by fact-checking and verification. In what circumstances was the internet banned there more heinous atrocities taking place is still not known. There are some horrific stories of rape that are reported by Hoineilhing Sitlhou of Newsclick.

Demands and Aspirations

At the heart of the problem are 2 factors one is internal and the second is external.


Internal Factors leading to the destabilization of Manipur

The internal factor is the demand to occupy more space, land & opportunities. The absence of these facilities results in unemployment taking advantage of this situation certain sections within the community create a vested goal that keeps them at the forefront of luxury, power, and all the other facilities.

For instance, the leaders of all the insurgent outfits demanding statehood in Manipur have the facility to manage their land, extort revenue, keep their army, and threaten or abduct anyone. These people are like mini-dictators with private armies of innocent men & women at their disposal. These people wait & create situations that result in conflict and from time to time these organizations enjoy their control of power and remain relevant.

TribesStatehood Demand
NagaGreater Nagalim
MeiteiControl over more land
Demand of Statehood

External Factors leading to the destabilization of Manipur

Manipur shares a border with Myanmar. Now Myanmar is governed by the Military and they are bombing and conducting air raids in Chin State directly shares a border with Manipur. According to reports from USIP Org worsening situation in Myanmar resulted in the displacement of 1.5 million people internally.

Around 500,000 ethnic Chin live in the northwestern area of Chin State in Burma/Myanmar. The Chin is ethnically very diverse. The six main tribes of Aso, Cho (Sho), Khuami (M’ro), Laimi, Mizo (Lushai), and Zomi (Kuki) can be further broken up into at least 60 different sub-tribal categories.

Despite New Delhi’s anti-refugee rhetoric, UNHCR reports that there are about 40,150 Chin refugees in Mizoram and 8,250 in Manipur, with an additional 5,092 seeking registration with UNHCR in New Delhi. Mizoram’s state government has welcomed them, providing temporary identity cards, food, medicine, and access to education. In February, the Mizoram Legislative Assembly adopted a resolution pledging to continue aiding the refugees.

There is also an angle of China coming into play that is putting in massive amounts of investment in infrastructure projects in Myanmar. China can provide and arm the insurgents who move in and out of the porous borders of Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland & Arunachal Pradesh. The problem is more complex than it seems to be. China published a map that showed Arunachal Pradesh as part of China’s South Tibet.

The Pakistani ISI, UK MI6, Chinese & USA angle regarding Manipur.

The International Angle Explained – Meiteis Perspective

Illegal Migration of Chins

Kukis are closely related to the Chins of Myanmar as they belong to the same community. Meiteis are opposed to the idea of settling more Kukis in the hilly tracts of Manipur and few reports suggest that Meiteis are instigated to act inhumanly so that later on the actions of Kukis, violence basically can be justified and demand for separate administration ‘Kukiland‘ appears acceptable.

S.NOAllegations of KukisAllegation of Meiteis
1Snatching our lands (Hills) that are traditionally oursCultivating Poppy In Hilly Areas
2 Inciting Hatred and Violence, Communal Racism on Pretext of Fake NewsEncroachers, drug smugglers, and illegal immigrants
3Government and Police Administration Support MeiteisAssam Riffles + Cross border support from Myanmar and adjoining states
Allegations of Kukis & Meiteis on one another


There are conflicts across the world and there are even wars. In whatever situation it is better to keep women & children out of this. In the case of Manipur, the opposite took place. Women were assaulted, brutalized, raped, gang-raped, and mutilated. A society, a culture, a civilization fails when humanity is shamed in such a manner.

What happened with Kuki women in Manipur is a matter of Shame for a country like India where women are worshipped. Meitei people are Vaishanvites meaning worshippers of Lord Vishnu. They must remember that the entire Mahabharata took place because ‘Draupadi’ was stripped. Meiteis went ahead one step they stripped a girl, paraded 3 women, and gang-raped the youngest one. May the lord have no mercy on the culprits as well as the onlookers.

Sources: The Wire, Frontline the Hindu, Vivekananda India Foundation, USIP, Newsclick, Swarajya Magzine

PM Modi’s Reaction to Manipur Violence

Kanishka Singh Rathore

Engineer Financial Planner Editor

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