‘The Darkest Times in Manipur History’

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‘The Darkest Times in Manipur History’

Binalakshmi Nepram and Sushant Singh discuss the ongoing violence in Manipur, the root causes, and what the government should do to restore peace.

‘The Darkest Times in Manipur History’

Houses are seen burnt following ethnic clashes and rioting in Sugnu, in the northeastern Indian state of Manipur, June 21, 2023.

Credit: AP Photo/Altaf Qadri

Since May 2023, Manipur state in India’s Northeast has been in crisis. What began as a peaceful protest on May 3 turned violent, with reports of ethnically-motivated beatings, arson, rapes, and murders. Hundreds of people are reported to have been killed, with over 50,000 forced from their homes. 10,000 Army troops were flown in to enforce order, but sporadic clashes continued into July, with literal battle lines drawn in some places between Meitei and Kuki-dominated areas.

The immediate cause for the crisis was the Kuki population’s resistance to the Meitei people’s push for Scheduled Tribe status, which would allow them privileges that have until now been reserved for the Kuki and other tribal groups – including the right to purchase land in the hill regions. But the roots of the conflict go back much farther.

How did Manipur go up in flames, and what can be done to repair the damage? In this webinar, recorded July 20, 2023, we discuss the causes of the conflict, the national security implications for India, and the government’s half-hearted response.

Featuring Binalakshmi Nepram, the Founder and Director of the Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network/Control Arms Foundation of India, and Sushant Singh, a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Policy Research (CPR), and moderated by Shannon Tiezzi, editor-in-chief at The Diplomat.