Manipur riots explained | What is the Root Cause of the Manipur Conflict?

Manipur is burning. 9,000 people have been displaced from their villages. At least 54 people have been killed, including two IRS officers. Who were brought out of their homes and killed. Mary Kom, our champion boxer, has asked for help from Modi ji.


What is happening in Manipur?

Manipur is one of the 7-sister states of the North East, which shares its border with Myanmar. The culture of North East is very diverse. If we just talk about Manipur, here 53% of the population is Meitei population these 53% of people are mostly concentrated in the area of Imphal.

In the hilly areas of Manipur, Naga, Kuki, and people of other tribes live. Naga and Kuki, these 2 tribes together make 40% population of Manipur.

It happened that Manipur High Court told the state government that the people of the Meitei community be considered in the Scheduled Tribes. People of the Meitei community have to say that in India, Bangladesh and Myanmar, from both these countries illegal immigrants arrive.

These illegal immigrants settle in the North East and usurp the land of the Meitei community and take their jobs. Gradually it will happen so, the entire demographic of Manipur will change.

Today’s existing 53% Meitei population will decrease and become a minority in their own state. If the Meitei people get the status of the Scheduled Tribe, then they will get some reservations in education, in government jobs.

Which will help them protect their culture.

Three Reasons Inflicted the Riot between Meitei and Naga, Kuki tribes:


  • In the month of February, in Churachandpur and in the other two districts, the government started removing encroachment in the forest areas.
  • Similarly, on 11th April, three churches were declared illegal and razed.
  • On 20th April, Manipur High Court suggested that the Meitei community be included in the ST list to the Manipur State Government.

Due to these three things, people of both the Kuki and Naga tribes were very angry which leads to violence.

A rumor spread among the people protesting in Churachandpur that the people of the Meitei community have set fire to one of their villages. Out of rage, they started to set fire to the surrounding Meitei settlements.

After this, clashes started in many places between the Meitei and tribal people.

The clashes between police and protesters started increasing, and the state government called for the army’s help. Internet was suspended in many areas. The situation was going out of control.

Why does the Meitei community need the ST status?

The Scheduled Tribal Demands Committee of Manipur had demanded from the court in 2012 give them the status of a Scheduled Tribe. Manipur became part of India in 1949.

Then, the Meitei people were kept out of the ST list. Manipur High Court gave the State only a direction and gave a suggestion, that these people be considered, and that too, on the basis of the petition submitted in 2012.

As per our current laws,

  • people from the Meitei community cannot buy land in the hilly areas of Manipur. Because this land is reserved for only tribes.
  • The Meitei people say that in Manipur the Kuki population is growing rapidly, which is just not possible to happen naturally. These people are coming from somewhere, and most probably from the neighboring country, Myanmar.
  • They say that they are illegally settling in forest areas. Their point of view is that, due to them, the poppy plantation in the hilly areas increases, and even the drug problem in Manipur.

The demands of tribes.

Let’s now understand the other side of the argument. Let’s understand which are the points, due to which the Kuki and Naga tribes want to stop this Meitei community from entering the ST list.

  • These tribes say that the people of the Meitei community are already in the majority. Many assembly constituencies are in their areas, where the Meitei people are in the majority. That is they believe that political representation is already very high with them.
  • They think that if the people of the Meitei community are included in the ST list, then through reservations, they will get government jobs, and for the people of the Naga and Kuki tribes there will be nothing left.
  • The Meitei community has already got the OBC status. They say that, why do you need the ST status? Both these two tribes believe that the people of the Meitei community already do a lot of discrimination against them. They see them as illegal immigrants, and because of cultural and religious differences, clashes keep happening between them.
  • And if the Meitei community gets the ST status, they will gradually keep getting dominant even in these hilly regions. And will remove the Kuki and Naga tribes from there too.

So I have presented both side of the story now you all can decide who is right and what need to be done please share in the comment section.

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