A chronological report on Manipur violence 2023 from May 3
- Part 2 -

Takhellambam Geetchandra Meitei *

16th May 2023 : According to the sources of Forest Department as many as 16 forest offices located at Kuki inhabited areas were destroyed and burnt. Forest offices in Churachandpur were DFO Office Baijang, Forest Beat office Saikot, Forest Beat office Mata Moltam, Forest Beat office Mualum, Forest Beat office S Kwatlian, Forest Beat office Singhat, Forest Range Office Tuibong, Range Forest Office Tuilungjam (Henglep).

Kangpokpi - DFO Office Motbung, Forest Range Office Motbung, Forest Beat office Sapermeina, Forest Beat office Kotlien, Forest Range Office Kangpokpi, Forest Range Office Saikul. Tengnoupal – Forest Range Office Moreh, Forest IB Office Moreh, DFO Office Tengnoupal, Bishnupur – Forest Beat Phoubakchao.

17th May 2023 : Nishikant Sapam – MLA who is also Chairman of Committee of Privileges and Ethics in Manipur Assembly said the demand by 10 Kuki MLAs for separate State of Territory was a fundamental breach of the oath which they took when they became MLAs. 34 MLAs of Manipur submitted Memorandum to the Central Government for immediate withdrawal of Suspension of Operation (SoO).

Kuki MLAs of Manipur meet civil society organisations (CSOs) in Aizwal, Mizoram resolved “No dialogue with Biren Government”. All Zeliangrong Organisation (AZO) Manipur Valley said that a community which has no land of its own cannot demand separate administration.

18th May 2023 : Four BJP MLAs who resigned from their respective administrative posts, in other to register their dissent against Chief Minister N. Biren, have submitted Memorandum to Union Home Minister also joined the 34 non-Kuki MLAs in demanding non-extension of SoO signed with Kuki militants. Assam Rifles destroyed around 22 bunkers for Kuki militants under Suspension of Operation (SoO) at Wakanphai Village near Leitanpokpi, IE. Two transport buses engaged in carrying Indian Reserved Battalion (IRB) personnel were attacked by unknown miscreants near Keithelmanbi along with National Highway 37.

19th May 2023 : Three Kuki MLAs led by Nemcha Kipgen-Minister Commerce & Industries, LM Khaute – MLA & Kimneo Haokip Hangshing – MLA met Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga at Aizawl, Mizoram on separate administration demand.

Director General of Police (DGP) Manipur refuted the contention by 10 Kuki MLAs in their letter addressed to the Union Home Minister on May 15 regarding disarming of all Kuki police officers. Abandoned Meitei houses in Dolaithabi, Imphal East were set on fire by unknown miscreants.

20th May 2023 : Hundreds and thousands of people stage a Peace Rally at Thoubal District demanding protection of Manipur Integrity, deportation of illegal immigrants, implementation of National Register of Citizenship (NRC). One Shaktiman Truck parked inside a garage at Torbung Sabal Mamang Leikai, Bishnupur was torched by Kuki militants. A man who reportedly joined the demolition of Khumujamba Meitei Leikai, Churachandpur died after a house collapsed on top of him.

21st May 2023 : Dr. RK. Ranjan Singh – Minister of State for External Affairs & Education writes a letter to the Prime Minister Modi about the threat of balkanisation on ethnic lines in Manipur. He said “the state should belong to the people as a whole - without any distinction of hill inhabitants or valley people – in the pattern of Himachal Pradesh”. Speaking at the observance of Anti-Terrorism Day held at Manipur Secretariat (South Block) Chief Minister N. Biren Singh admitted that there were lapses in security and intelligence measures, which lead to the communal clashes.

22nd May 2023 Kuldiep Singh, Security Advisor to the Government of Manipur held a Press Conference at CM Office, Imphal claimed 39,405 displaced people are currently taking shelter at 235 relief camps opened at Imphal West (6 camps – 649 persons) , Imphal East (40 camps – 8015 persons), Thoubal (12 camps – 911 persons), Bishnupur (54 camps – 8123 persons), Churachandpur (41 camps – 11455 persons), Tengnoupal (9 camps – 1463 persons), Kakching (2 camps – 192 persons), Jiribam (4 camps – 117 persons), Kangpokpi (57 camps – 8000 persons), Ukhrul (1 camp – 38 persons), Senapati (1 camp – 22 persons), Kamjong (8 camps – 420 persons).

The Speaker of Manipur Legislative Assembly Th. Satyabarta Singh has asserted that necessary action would be initiated to the 10 MLAs who demand separate administration according to the rules & procedures of the assembly. A mob occurred and Tear gas shells fired after a few armed Kuki youths threatened shopkeepers and women vendors of New Checkon under Porompat Police Station, Imphal East to close the market or face dire consequences.

During the mob at New Checkon 5 personnel of Manipur Fire Service and 3 media persons were assaulted by Jat Regiment. While, three persons suffered bullet injuries at Moidangpok Village in Imphal West at Kuki militants fired towards residential area.

23rd May 2023 Fire-fighters of Manipur Fire Services resolved not to discharge duties until the personnel of 16 Jat Regiment who allegedly assaulted 5 personnel including an officer at New Checkon. The Kukis conveyed to the central government their unanimous stance of “Solution first, peace next” during the protest held at Kangpokpi.

24th May 2023 One Meitei civilian was killed and 2 other suffered bullet injuries in the attack by Kuki militants at Tronglaobi, Bishnupur District. While a civilian was injured at Singda Kadangband, Imphal West at the attack by Kuki Militants. A team of MLAs and Ministers of Manipur led by Speaker Th Satyabarta flew to Guwahati in separate flights to meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah to seek intervention and bring an end to the ethnic conflict in Manipur.

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Mr. Volker Turk urged authorities to respond to the situation quickly by investigating and addressing the root cause of the violence. The large numbers of womenfolk stormed to DC Office Bishnupur demanding the replacement of state forces at sensitive areas. Central forces remain silent spectators when kuki militants attack and torch houses belonging to Meitei Community.

The house of Minister Govindas Konthoujam in Ningthoukhong, Bishnupur District was vandalised by large numbers of mobs claiming the government failed to protect Meitei from Kuki militants. The Eastern Army Commander Lt General RP Kalita visited Manipur to review the ground situation of Manipur.

BJP MLA L. Rameshwor said “can’t tolerate indifferent attitude of Government, will join hands with public in saving Manipur” in a press conference at Imphal. An IRB (recruit) with 2 others belonging to the Kuki community were held with arms, ammunition and explosives at Kangchup foothills, Imphal West by a combined team of State Force and 22 Assam Rifles.

25th May 2023 Union Home Minister Amit Shah has once again assured integrity of Manipur during the meeting with 14 MLAs led by Speaker Th Satyabrata at Guwahati. Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai arrived at Imphal today to resolve the Manipur crisis. While the Kuki MLAs led by Nemcha Kipgen met Neiphiu Rio the Chief Minister of Nagaland at CM Secretariat in Kohima and sought support for the Kuki community. The State police rescued 7 Meitei people from the hand of Kuki militants.

26th May 2023 Kuki militants fired heavy arms and reportedly torched at least 30 houses belonging to Meitei communities at Phoubakchao Ikhai Awang Leikai, Bishnupur District. Manipur Mountaineering Institute (MMI) at Lamdan Village, Churachandpur was torched by suspected Kuki militants. Unknown miscreants burnt down one residential school at Gelmol, Moirang, Bishnupur District.

Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai meets Kuki CSO leaders at Kangpokpi and assures justice. A mass rally was organised at Bishnupur District by Apunba Nupi Lup Bishnupur on the demands of withdrawal of SoO with Kuki militants, removal of Central forces, and resolving the crisis.

27th May 2023 Thousands of people walked a Peaceful Rally at Kakching District to protect Manipur Integrity organised by District Level Committee for Rejuvenating Coexistence Kakching. Kuki militants torched houses belonging to Meitei Community at Tronglaobi and Okshongbung, Bishnupur District and state forces retaliated firing with kuki militants.

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS) of the Indian Army General Manoj Pande arrived at Imphal on two-day visit to review the situation and oversee the steps taken up by the Indian Army to restore peace in Manipur. Tangkhul Naga Long (TNL) an apex customary body of Tangkhul Community submitted a memorandum to the PM of India “No separate administration in our (Naga) jurisdiction”.

28th May 2023 Armed Kuki militants launched coordinated attacks on numerous meitei villages at midnight, Armed kuki militatnts attacked Phayeng Khunou Freedom Hills, Imphal West and killed one civilian and one sustained injury. Armed kuki militants attacked Singda Kadangband, IW. Large numbers of kuki militants attacked Sugnu, Wapokpi and Serou Villages, Kakching at around 1.30a.m. and torched several houses, state forces rushed there resulting shoot-out, 7 persons including a havildar of Manipur Rifles and 3 militants killed in the incident and around 30 persons injured.

On the other hand, 3 persons lost their lives and 200 more houses were burnt by Kuki Militants at Chandonpokpi and Kamson Tampak, Bishnupur. In the attack 200 houses of Napat & Tangjeng Ahallup were also burnt by Kuki militants. While, in Gwaltabi, Yaingangokpi, Imphal East Kuki militants torched some houses of Meitei and gunfight exchanged between state forces and kuki militants, a police constable and eight civilians sustained injuries.

After the simultaneous attacks carried out by the kuki militants on Meitei villages in peripheral areas of valley districts, enraged people snatched many firearms and ammunition from different security posts and in Tengnoupal District. Large number of protesters stormed and vandalised the residence of Uripok MLA Raghumani and Wangjing Tentha MLA P. Brojen.

29th May 2023 Four civilians who suffered bullet injuries in firing by kuki militants were killed in an encounter between a joint team of state forces and BSF on one side and Kuki militants on the other side. A burnt body of an aged woman was found in one of houses burnt by kuki militants at Serou Awang Leikai with bullet riddled bodies of two civilians and one male dead body in “Lungi’ (wraparound) also recovered from Serou Mayai Leikai and Serou Part 2.

Kuki militants burnt down 30 houses at Leimakhong Chingmang and Ingourok Chingmak which is located close to the Assam Rifles Leimakhong Camp, state police retaliated with Kuki militants, 2 civilians sustained injuries. While kuki militants burnt at least 80 houses at Laikhong and 300 houses at Itham Moirangpurel under Andro Assembly Constituency, Imphal East. One civilian was injured by a bullet at Chandonpokpi, Bishnupur fired by Kuki militants using a long range weapon like a Sniper rifle.

Amid the violence, the Union Home Minister Amit Shah arrived at Imphal for a 4 day visit. The Home Minister presides over a close door meeting with the CM, Mos Home, Council of Ministers, Home Secretary and others at CM Secretariat.

30th May 2023 Olympians, International Medal winners, sports personalities submitted memorandum to Home Minister for restoring peace, revoke SoO, reject Separate Administration demand otherwise they will return their awards. The representatives of different women’s organisations met the Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Governor Anusuiya Uikey at Raj Bhawan on the present Manipur violence.

A team of congress led by Congress Chief Mallikarjun Karge met President Daraupadi Murmu on present Manipur situation and demanded a high level inquiry committee headed by serving or retired Supreme Court Judge. Union Minister Amit Shah held a closed door meeting with CSOs and Intellectuals of Churachandpur at 27 Sector Assam Rifles. Mizoram government seeks Rs. 5 Crore assistance for displaced persons taking shelter in Mizoram from Manipur. Mamata Banerjee the Chief Minister of West Bengal seeks Centre’s permission to visit Manipur.

31st May 2023 Five state police commandos sustained bullet injury in a gunfight with Kuki militants at Tangjeng Chingjya, Bishnupur District. One personnel of Police commando was injured with a bullet at gunfight with kuki militants at Kanglatongbi Shantipur, Imphal West. Heavy gunfights reported at Chanung Area, Imphal East between State forces and kuki militants.

3 personnel of Police Commando sustained injury in a pipe bomb explosion suspected to be planted by Kuki militants at Changujao araea between Tangjeng Ahallup and Leihan Tampak, Bishnupur. The Chief of Defence Staff General Anil Chauhan termed the present Manipur violence as “primary ethnic and not counter insurgency”. Union Minister Amit Shah hold meeting with CSOs and Intellectuals of Kangpokpi at 22 Sector Assam Rifles.

Amit Shah also visited a relief camp opened at Ideal Girls College, Akampat, Imphal East. The Privilege and Ethics Committee of the Manipur Legislative Assembly issued a show cause notice to the 10 Kuki MLAs who demanded separate administration. IFCD Office and Staff Quarters, Yairipok were set ablaze by unknown miscreants. The United Naga Council (UNC) an apex body of Naga submitted a Memorandum to the Home Minister that “Nagas will not accept any disintegration of Naga areas in attempting to address any demand by any community”.

To be continued...

* Takhellambam Geetchandra Meitei wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer is a Research Scholar, Department of Social Work, Manipur International University
and can be contacted at geetmangang2(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on 04 September 2023 .

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