Manipur Violence 2023 Update: What exactly is happening in the state that is now being called as “the death of humanity”?

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The recent incidents in Manipur, a north-eastern state in India, has sparked widespread outrage. A disturbing video emerged on 19th July 2023, showing a mob parading two tribal women naked amid violent ethnic clashes in the region.

Manipur Riots 2023

In response to this heinous act, the police swiftly took action, arresting a man in connection with the incident and assuring the public that others involved will also be apprehended soon. The severity of the situation prompted lawmakers in Delhi’s parliament to disrupt the session, demanding a debate on this distressing issue. Let’s take an in-depth look at what this inhuman and heart wrenching incident is about.

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Manipur Violence 2023: What is the incident about?

On 3rd May 2023, a violent confrontation broke out in Manipur, India’s north-eastern state, pitting the Meitei people, primarily residing in the Imphal Valley, against the tribal communities from the surrounding hills, including the Kuki people. The clashes have resulted in a devastating toll, with 142 fatalities and over 300 individuals wounded as of 4th July. Tragically, the violence has also led to approximately 54,488 people being internally displaced as of the same date.

The core issue revolves around the Meitei people’s long-standing demand to be recognized as a Scheduled Tribe under the Indian Constitution, entitling them to privileges similar to other tribal communities. Following a Manipur High Court directive to the state government to decide on this matter within four weeks, tensions arose as some tribal communities protested against the Meitei demand.

Amidst these tensions, clashes erupted between the Meitei and Kuki populations in the Churachandpur district, adjacent to the Imphal Valley. To restore law and order, the Indian Army and paramilitary forces deployed approximately 10,000 troops. In response to the escalating situation, the authorities suspended internet services for five days and imposed Section 144 of the Indian Penal Code, prohibiting unlawful gatherings that could disturb the peace. In extreme cases, the Indian troops were given “shoot on sight” orders to enforce the curfew.

To address the violence and its underlying causes, a panel led by a retired Chief Justice will conduct an investigation, while a peace committee, including members of civil society, will be established under the Governor and security advisor Kuldeep Singh. Additionally, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will look into six conspiracy-related cases to ensure an impartial inquiry into the root causes.

However, the situation took a distressing turn when a video went viral on July 19, depicting two Kuki women being publicly humiliated and sexually assaulted by apparently young Meitei men. The emergence of this video was delayed for more than two months due to the internet ban in Manipur. One of the victims expressed feelings of abandonment by the police in the face of the violent mob.

In summary, the dispute originated from the Meitei people’s demand for a Scheduled Tribe status, leading to clashes between communities in Manipur. The authorities responded by deploying security forces and initiating investigations, but a disturbing incident of violence against Kuki women further exacerbated the situation.

Manipur Riots 2023: What caused the death of humanity in the state?

Almost three months ago, an attack on women occurred, but its exposure to the public was delayed until Thursday when a video of the incident went viral on Twitter. As per the police complaint, one of the women endured a gang rape, and it was also reported that a third woman was coerced to strip, although she was not captured in the video. 

The distressing Manipur incident news or the video, exhibits the women being harassed and physically violated by the assailants, with the faces of the men clearly visible. As of now, two people have been arrested on charges of gang rape.

As reported by The Print, the video depicts a distressing incident of sexual violence, which occurred in the aftermath of the circulation of fake news about the rape and murder of a Meitei woman. This misinformation sparked a dangerous chain of retaliatory violence against Kuki tribal women, allegedly perpetrated by Meitei mobs, as detailed in the report.

Throughout history, rape has tragically been employed as a weapon during conflicts. 

Compounding the situation is the apparent indifference of the authorities. The Manipur incident occurred on 4th May 2023 when two men and three women from the tribal Kuki community were seeking refuge in a forest to escape the violence in Kangpokpi district. A police complaint, filed by a relative of one of the women, reveals that the police team initially rescued them but was later ambushed by a hostile mob, which forcibly took away the villagers.

As per the complaint, the mob brutally killed the two men and subjected the women to a horrifying act, forcing them to strip. Tragically, a 21-year-old woman fell victim to a brutal gang rape that occurred in broad daylight, while the other two women managed to flee the scene.

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Manipur Violence 2023 incident: Government’s response

manipur violence 2023
Credit: telegraphindia.com

After keeping silent for a long time, the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi,  on Thursday addressed the Manipur Violence situation. Mentioning the video, he said, “The Manipur incident is shameful for any decent society. My heart is full of pain and anger.” He further asserted, “I assure the nation, no guilty will be spared. The law will take its course with all its might. What has happened to daughters of Manipur can never be forgiven.”

manipur cm n biren singh

The incident has enraged Riots in Manipur, raising several questions on the state government. Chief Minister of Manipur, N Biren Singh, strongly condemned the incident, tagging it as a “crime against humanity”. In a swift response, the state government initiated an investigation to ensure the perpetrators are brought to justice.

The video sparked extensive outrage among opposition parties, civil society, and prominent leaders throughout the country. On Wednesday, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi criticized PM Narendra Modi, expressing deep concern about the situation in Manipur, stating, “INDIA will not stay silent while the idea of India is being attacked in Manipur.” Through a tweet he addressed his concern mentioning, “PM’s silence and inaction has led Manipur into anarchy… We stand with the people of Manipur. Peace is the only way forward.”

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) encouraged citizens to condemn the heinous act but advised against sharing the distressing visuals. Notable leaders, including Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi, vehemently called upon the Central government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to break their silence and take action in response to the escalating violence and injustice in Manipur.

Manipur Violence 2023 Riots: What is the root cause?

For an extended period, Manipur has grappled with enduring ethnic tensions between the Meiteis and Kukis, which revolve primarily around contentious resource allocations, political representation, and recognition of identity. This prolonged conflict has had profound ramifications on the region’s peace and security, exacerbating the situation and presenting ongoing challenges.

For now, the Manipur Violence Case is being investigated thoroughly and as promised by the Government, justice is expected to be served soon.


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