First-hand account of Manipur Violence

Maj (Retd.) Rajkumar Jhaljit Singh *

 Born in the Relief Camp : Visit to relief camps by Manipur Meitei Association, Bangalore from September 10 to 15, 2023
Born in the Relief Camp : Visit to relief camps by Manipur Meitei Association, Bangalore from September 10 to 15, 2023

I was part of a 9-member Manipur Meitei Association, Bangalore, MMAB, team that visited Manipur from September 10 to 15 (2023) . Our mission was to assess the ground situation and provide support to the people in relief camps.

During our visit, we made a deliberate effort to visit all remote relief camps and spend time with women, children and senior citizens. It was heart wrenching to witness the level of destruction in Serou and Phougakchao Ikhai areas. The areas we visited looked like a war zone. There was destruction galore and we felt that the devastation was worse than the damages caused by the ongoing war in Ukraine. Most of the houses razed to the ground were covered by green plastic sheets by the state authorities.

The conditions we witnessed in some of the relief camps were deeply distressing. When it came to the well-being of the children residing there, it was even more painful. These camps lacked basic amenities, and in some cases, there was foul odour emanating from the debris and the inadequate sanitation facilities were all too palpable. Many of the children were suffering from eye infections, a clear indication of the challenging living conditions they had to endure in the camps.

The impact on their education was severe, as the trauma they had experienced consumed their thoughts. It was heart-breaking to see that children had no access to basic education with their regular lives marred by continuous exposure to violence. Some of the innocent children were born during the raging violence and their mothers continue to live in a state of constant distress.

One of our goals was to spend quality time with these children, engaging in play and offering them hope and comforting them to the best of our ability.

It has been over five long months since they were displaced and forced into these relief camps, and it is imperative that urgent steps are taken to facilitate their return to respective villages, where they can live freely and sustainably, away from the ongoing conflict.

Moreover, the mental health of many children, women, and senior citizens in these camps are extremely worrisome. The psychological impact of their traumatic experiences is profound. Without proper care and support, it could have lasting adverse effects on their well-being.

One resounding plea we heard from both the children and the elders was, "We want to go back to our homes and villages, even if it means risking our lives."

This plea underscores the deep longing for a return to a sense of normalcy and a life free from the constant threat of violence. It is imperative that their voices are heard, and immediate measures taken to ensure their safe return and well-being.

The situation of the rural peasants and farmers in Manipur were even worse. Their conditions were indeed alarming, calling for immediate attention and action. Many farmers have not only lost their livelihoods but also their lands that were once used for farming. The ongoing security concerns, with the constant threat of getting shot by snipers and automatic weapons of suspected Kuki-Zo militants from the lower foothills, have severely disrupted farming activities across the valley.

The cessation of agricultural activities on paddy fields in crucial areas such as Kadangbund, Kanchup, Phubakchau, Koutha, Serou, Sugnu, and parts of Kaching Khounou is a clear indication of the extent of the problem. It is highly likely that many other regions are also experiencing similar challenges. This situation poses a significant risk to Manipur's food security.

It is essential that relevant departments assess the scale of the impact on agriculture to determine the extent of the problem accurately. Once the assessment is complete, necessary aid and support should be provided by the Central Government to ensure that Manipur does not face a food crisis. Immediate and comprehensive action is needed to address these pressing concerns and safeguard the well-being and food security of the people of Manipur.

Since many of the parents living in the relief camps have lost their livelihoods, and many are unable to support their children's education, especially those who were studying outside the state, we strongly feel that the HRD Minister, State Education Minister, and society at large must contribute to the well-being of these children, who represent the future of our nation. Without appropriate measures, we risk deepening the divides and fostering hatred within society.

Children need guidance not only for their own sake but for the betterment of the entire society, state, and nation. In this regard, we have submitted a memorandum to the Education Minister of Karnataka and Manipur, urging action to ensure the welfare of these children.

Furthermore, the team also visited a school run by The Art of Living (AOL) in Phubala, Bishnupur District, Manipur, and discussed with AOL team led by Dixon Laishram on how AOL could support the affected people from Phubala village and those who are living in Phubala relief camps.

AOL has the right infrastructure to develop the area for providing support not just to the children who face the impact of violence but also to the families to provide a sustainable support system and work on skill development.

MMAB team was blessed to witness the resilience and dedication of the women folks (Meira Paibis) in Manipur during this crisis, who are truly remarkable. They have consistently demonstrated unwavering commitment to their homeland and its people, especially during times of danger and injustice.

 Meira Paibis : Visit to relief camps by Manipur Meitei Association, Bangalore from September 10 to 15, 2023
Meira Paibis: Visit to relief camps by Manipur Meitei Association, Bangalore from September 10 to 15, 2023

Historically, Meira Paibis played a pivotal role in challenging the British Empire during the “Women Wars” of 1905 and the revolt against illegal taxes. Their efforts led to significant changes, including the elimination of Forced Labor. In contemporary times, Meira Paibis continues to be a force to reckon with and for positive change. They have been instrumental in combating drug-related issues in Manipur and safeguarding the well-being of the youth.

During this ongoing crisis in Manipur, we had the opportunity to witness Meira Paibis' dedication as they gather outside their homes at night to serve as early warnings against threats from Kuki militants and actively engage in daily chores during the day. This highlights their unyielding spirit and commitment to protecting Manipur. Spending time with Meira Paibis at 2 am and seeking their blessings is a testament to the respect and admiration that their sacrifices and efforts deserve. They are a source of strength and resilience for Manipur and its people.

The level of stress borne by the Women Folks (Meira Paibis) in Manipur is unimaginable. Whenever our motherland Manipur and its people faced danger, they pledged to defend and stand up against injustices, whether it was against the British Empire, which experienced the first Women War in 1905, forcing the mighty British Empire to abolish Forced Labor, or the revolt against illegal taxes. They played a significant role in controlling drug-related issues in the state.

We had an opportunity to interact with various civil society and eminent personalities during our visit including Lt. General (Retd.) L. Nishikanta, Ms. Rami Niranjan Desai and Dr. Arambam Noni. We met with some intellectuals and leaders from the Congress Party at Manipur Congress Bhavan to understand their perspective on the ongoing violence and how we can work towards the progressive development of the state.

One message we received from the Congress leaders is that this is a time for us to unite and speak in one voice to protect the integrity of Manipur and promote its progressive development. They also presented a book as memorabilia, which means a lot to us.

We also had the opportunity to meet with the Chief Minister of Manipur, N. Biren, on September 12 and shared the challenges and hardships faced by the public. He graciously engaged with us for over two and half hours, addressing many of our concerns. One specific question we asked was about ending the violence immediately, to which he responded, "It will happen when both communities give up violence and give peace a chance."

The Chief Minister emphasized the commitment of both the Central Government and the State Government to restore peace. They have implemented measures to control the proliferation of weapons, especially among Chin-Kuki militants.

For the first time, we felt that the Chief Minister had a comprehensive plan for the development of the state and for restoring peace. He shared both tactical and strategic measures for permanently restoring peace. He is sensitive to the needs of both communities and reiterated that the fight is not between two communities but between the Government and Narco-Terrorists.

He acknowledged that the violence is not communal but extremely complex, involving narco-terrorist organizations supported by external vested parties. He described it as an act of war, making it extremely challenging to control, unlike any communal violence or law and order situation. The government is extremely cautious when civilians are involved, striving to avoid casualties and collateral damage.

The CM appealed to the public, especially women-folk, not to enter areas where security operations are underway is a crucial step in maintaining safety. It underscores the importance of civilian cooperation in ensuring that the operations can be conducted with minimal risk to non-combatants. Additionally, his call for the public not to engage in protest demonstrations without a clear objective was aimed at helping maintain law and order and prevent unintended consequences.

Regarding the implementation of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) in the Valley districts, it is noteworthy that the Chief Minister mentioned it was withdrawn by his party but noted that its reinstatement is subject to the prevailing law-and-order conditions. This reflects a nuanced approach to security measures, taking into account the evolving situation and the need to balance security with the rights and well-being of the people.

As the situation worsened it got enforced, however it must be highlighted that this was not enforced in jurisdiction under 19 police stations. Collaboration and collective efforts are crucial in addressing the complex issues facing the region and in working towards a more peaceful and stable future for Manipur. We will do our bit in and look forward to the implementation of the constructive measures by the Chief Minister and the Government of Manipur

In conclusion, it is essential to consider the consequences of violence and ponder on who stands to gain from it. It is high time for both communities to give peace a chance. The violence only leads to loss, not just for the society but for both communities. The violence has taken away all the development initiatives, including the vision of PM Modi to make Manipur a corridor to East Asia, which is a loss for the entire society.

See the full Photo Gallery here

* Maj (Retd.) Rajkumar Jhaljit Singh wrote this article for Waari Singbul Network which was provided to
Waari Singbul can be contacted at waarisingbul(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on 18 October 2023.

* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.

  • My daily prayer to Modi Bhagwan
  • Violence in Manipur 2023-2024 : Timeline
  • Voting & Development : A new strategy
  • More infection-prevention options but...
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Sekmaijin
  • Job Openings at SAS Skills, Imphal
  • The Power of Poppy - 40 :: Poem
  • Manipur Kanba Khongchat #3 : Gallery
  • Compassion, empathy can restore peace
  • Totomsana Nongshaba to be inaugurated
  • Putting people first means following Gandhi
  • Assessment of cage culture on Maphou
  • Hotspots of trouble in North East India
  • Seeking a date with PM Modi
  • Puja Khedkar case: Opening the can of worm
  • Re-Interpretation of Subika Art of Manipur
  • International Day of Yoga #2 : Gallery
  • India refugee policy: Rohingyas Vs Chin-Kuki
  • Haats (Weekly Markets) of Guwahati
  • Shillong gears up to host Durand Cup
  • Lip care during Monsoon
  • Gaikhangam in his elements, again
  • The death of a Chiru man
  • Anti-Repression Day @ MDU #1 : Gallery
  • You are wrong, but it's okay
  • Growing call for 100-100-100 to end AIDS
  • Pelvis as the body's emotional junk drawer!
  • World Youth Skills Day & our environment
  • Insanity at its worst
  • 55 kms per day on Imphal-Jiri stretch
  • Justice Kotiswar: First among equals
  • Kang Chingba @Govindajee #2 : Gallery
  • Introducing Thang-Ta in school curriculum
  • N Kotiswar - Judge Supreme Court of India
  • Meitei Professors' Invention Patent [Upd]
  • Boeing crisis hits India, air fares to shoot up
  • Scholarship: Rs 4 crore for civil service
  • Out on the streets against extortions
  • Mandate against party-hopping
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #10
  • Bamboo Bio-toilets at Champu Kangpok
  • Decarbonisation for human survival
  • Book Release to promote physical education
  • "ST status for Meetei" @ Langmeidong
  • Condemns the Killing of CRPF Jawan
  • Rahul Ji, let us talk solution
  • Targeting Central security personnel
  • The monster outgrowing its creator
  • Aftermath of Imphal Flooding #2 : Gallery
  • World Plastic Surgery Day 2024
  • A new front of 'power politics' in Nagaland
  • 2nd Meghalaya Pineapple Fest at Delhi
  • Super 20 batch for UPSC 2025 announced
  • Why is PM not meeting Manipur leaders ?
  • Justice to displaced people
  • Imphal Art College Exhibition #1 : Gallery
  • Scholarship for Johnstone Hr Sec given
  • Will #PutPeopleFirst drive HIV response?
  • Open Letter to Amit Shah, Home Minister
  • The Power of Poppy - 39 :: Poem
  • World Population Day 2024
  • Beating of the Retreat #3 : Gallery
  • Liar's lair :: Poem
  • The Richest Man in Imphal
  • Gamcha, the Assamese Scarf
  • Meghalaya Govt launches OTT platform
  • Comprehensive Coverage in NE Telecom
  • Battered and tattered roads
  • Let there be transparency
  • Kanglei Thokpa @ Sagol Kangjei : Gallery
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2024 #3: Gallery
  • Historic Premiere: 'Chilli Chicken' at Manipur
  • Effective Unified Command for Resolution
  • Music & Quiz: Drug Abuse amongst youth
  • Visionless and headless DMU
  • When is the right time & situation for PM visit
  • Descent of Radha-Krishna #37: Download
  • Inspirations from Scientists of Manipur: Book
  • Manipur crisis: Treat the disease, not symptom
  • 133rd Durand Cup Trophies Flags Off
  • NEET droppers vs freshers
  • Death : Only future to look at ?
  • Mental health of displaced people
  • Aftermath of Imphal Flooding #1 : Gallery
  • When was the last time we smiled ?
  • Appeal to Stop Unbearable Monetary Demand
  • 'Oppenheimer' links with Supreme Science
  • 'Preventing from holding a press conference'
  • Travel tips during Monsoon
  • Look at it via ground reality
  • Making the 'Balak Buddhi' wiser
  • Kang Chingba @Govindajee #1 : Gallery
  • Release Ebo Mili & Stop large dams in ArP
  • Rainforests are the lungs of Earth
  • Education suffering from political interference
  • Inflated bill main vote plank, law dont cut graft
  • From the Lok Sabha to Manipur
  • Third visit of Rahul
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #9
  • International Day of Yoga #1 : Gallery
  • Lord Jagannatha's processional chariot fest
  • World Zoonoses Day 2024
  • PM 'bola' in Parliament
  • Acknowledging the stand of UNC
  • Embracing tree plantation as a new trend
  • 17th N Tombi Equestrian C'ships #2 : Gallery
  • The spirit & the creed of the Olympics
  • Kang Chingba (Rath Yatra) : Book
  • 'Economic blockade: Rumors baseless'
  • The Power of Poppy - 38 :: Poem
  • Balancing children's academic performance
  • Imphal flooded (again) [Jul 3] #2 : Gallery
  • Covid, Ngari, Yu and Loktak
  • Rural people struggling with network problem
  • English certificate courses for BA student
  • 6th July is International Day of Cooperatives
  • Clogging the waterways with plastics
  • Diverting public attention from core issues
  • Manipur Kanba Khongchat #2 : Gallery
  • Gateway of Assam
  • Integrating GIS & EWS for flood management
  • The Dopamine overdose
  • Free workshop on civil service exams
  • Bucket of cold water after a hot shower
  • Breaking the silence
  • Imphal flooded (again) [Jul 3] #1 : Gallery
  • Embracing 'Sharra - Kashar-ot'
  • Drug abuse & illicit trafficking in Manipur
  • Nudity being served to increase followers
  • Record high temperature
  • Bangladesh FM Hasan Mahmud's Riyadh visit
  • Indigenous call for NRC
  • Come home to the electorates
  • Meiteis must unite for survival
  • Flood advisories issued
  • State & District Control Rooms
  • Green Hydrogen for a clean environment
  • Need for an Emergency
  • Monsoons beauty
  • Calling out the indifference of Delhi
  • Questioning the silence with a roar
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #8
  • Problem & prospect of floriculture in Manipur
  • WomenLeaders India Fellowship 2024-25
  • Naga Peace Talks and Narasimha Rao
  • Arunachal Minister visits Oil Palm @Godavari
  • Clear cut stand from the Nagas
  • Crisis resolution in 100-day plan ?
  • Great June Uprising @Kekrupat #2 : Gallery
  • Manipur: A battleground of imperial geopolitics
  • Wangkhem Suresh @ Higher Defence Course
  • Shoppers Stop's 1st Store in Dimapur
  • Stop razing rail station, divert 25k Cr to Signal
  • Has Imphal completely lost the plot ?
  • Time to take responsibility
  • Tarpon chaklen katpa @ Andro #3 : Gallery
  • July Calendar for Year 2024 : Tools
  • Letter to Prime Minister of India
  • International Day of Parliamentarism
  • Skill Development Course at Lumshnong
  • The Power of Poppy - 37 :: Poem
  • Radio E-pao: Manipuri Film OST (130+ song)
  • Manipur Kanba Khongchat #1 : Gallery
  • Multiple Openings @ JCRE Solutions
  • Our mass addiction to predicting future
  • Bonsai - A play with another aspect : Review
  • Timely diagnosis to stop misuse of medicines
  • Impactful tool- Instagram marketing strategy
  • Essence of the June 28 rally
  • Birds of the same feather
  • Scientist of Manipur: Satyendra Thoudam
  • Education and the fate of Manipur
  • Centre not mind talking to Kitovi or Alezo
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Nambol
  • Why Bangladesh urge military diplomacy
  • MoU : Assam Don Bosco Univ with Cambridge
  • Understanding beyond the coup
  • Donning the role of LoP
  • Rally @ Jiribam [June 26] : Gallery
  • Umananda Island- World smallest river island
  • Breaking the impasse
  • Fantasies of a sinister childhood
  • Program: developing women entrepreneurship
  • Microlearning is impacting talent acquisition
  • Looking for the way forward
  • The message
  • Moirangthem Robi - Mr Universe India 2022
  • Parthenium Menace in Indo-Myanmar : Book
  • Respect & recognise domestic worker
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Hiyanglam
  • One test not for India
  • Include tomatoes in your skincare routine
  • Raising ST call a notch or two higher
  • United in grief, but...
  • Panthoibi Phijol Hongba @Mandalay : Gallery
  • Indo-Naga Talks (From 2012) :: Timeline
  • Great June Uprising @Kekrupat #1 : Gallery
  • Ema Panthoibi Phijol Hongba at Mandalay
  • Ibudhou Cheng Hongba #1 : Gallery
  • Ima Keithel flood- May 30 #3 : Gallery
  • Aid to relief camps @ Jiribam : Gallery
  • Bike Rally - Sekmai to Kangla : Gallery
  • Ima Keithel flood- May 30 #2 : Gallery
  • Scientist of Manipur: Laishram Shanta
  • Imphal valley districts flooded #3 : Gallery
  • Ima Keithel flood- May 30 #1 : Gallery
  • Imphal valley districts flooded #2 : Gallery
  • Imphal valley districts flooded #1 : Gallery
  • HSLC (Class X) 2024 : Full Result
  • HSLC 2024 : Important Info & Grading System
  • HSLC 2024 : Pass % : Private Schools
  • HSLC 2024 : Pass % : Aided Schools
  • HSLC 2024 : Pass % : Govt Schools
  • HSLC 2024 : Statistical Abstract
  • HSLC 2024 : Comparative Statement
  • Scientist of Manipur: Jayanta Manoharmayum
  • Scientist of Manipur: Amom Ruhikanta
  • Preserving Thang-Ta :: Rare Photos
  • Malemnganbi Laishram : Science Topper
  • Thokchom Sheityajit : Arts Topper
  • Aiena Naorem : Commerce Topper
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024 : Science Topper
  • HSE 2024 : Subject Pass Percentage
  • HSE 2024 : District Pass Percentage
  • HSE 2024 : Candidates with Highest Marks
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024: Science Full Result
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024: Arts Full Result
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024: Commerce Result
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024 : Arts Topper
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024 : Commerce Topper
  • Nupi Landa Thaunaphabishing : Full Book
  • A ferocious hailstorm @Imphal : Gallery
  • Scientists of Manipur : Ngangkham Nimai
  • GHOST of PEACE :: Download Booklet
  • List of Kings of Manipur: 33 - 1984 AD