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  • Manipur

    1. Overview. 1
    2. Human rights violations by the security forces 2
    a. Deprivation of the right to life. 2
    b. Arbitrary arrest, illegal detention and torture. 3
    c. Impunity 4
    3. Violations of international humanitarian laws by the AOGs 4
    a. Deprivation of the right to life. 5
    b. Extortion. 6
    4. Violence against women. 6
    5. Violations of the rights of the child. 6
    6. Violations of the prisoners' rights 7
    7. Status of the Internally Displaced Persons 7


    1. Overview

    Ruled by the Indian National Congress, Manipur continued to witness high intensity armed conflict. There were about two dozens armed opposition groups in Manipur. The Central government also deployed a large number of security forces to deal with insurgency.

    Manipur witnessed serious human rights violations both by the security forces and the armed opposition groups in 2005. About 364 civilians were reportedly killed in insurgency related violence in the state since 2002 till May 2005.[1] Of these, 68 civilians were killed from 1 January 2005 to May 2005.[2]

    Under the cover of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) of 1958, the Central security forces carried out arbitrary arrest, torture and extrajudicial killings with impunity in the name of fighting insurgency.

    The armed opposition groups were also responsible for gross violations of international humanitarian laws, including killing, kidnapping, torture and extortion. In some cases, the armed opposition groups played the role of moral police and carried out execution of civilians in the most brutal ways for failing to comply with their diktat.[3]

    The conflict between the security forces and the armed opposition groups led to internal displacement of about 50 villagers from Barak circle during “Operation Tornado” launched on 27 October 2005.[4]

    Women and children were victims of societal violence including rape and molestation.

    According to Women Action for Development, 28 women were raped and 14 murdered in Manipur during January 2005 - October 2005.[5] Yet the state government failed to establish State Women Commission to deal with the violence against women.

    2. Human rights violations by the security forces

    a. Deprivation of the right to life

    The NHRC registered 2 deaths in the custody of the defence/para-military forces and 1 death in encounter in Manipur during 2004-2005.[6] The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) of the Government of India however did not record any case of custodial killing by the police during 2005!

    Both the State police and the Central security forces were responsible for arbitrary deprivation of the right to life. On 20 December 2005, Manipur Human Rights Commission chairman Justice W.A. Shisak called upon the state police to “go by the rulebook and respect the people's right to live with dignity”.[7]

    Asian Centre for Human Rights documented several cases of alleged extrajudicial executions by the security forces during socalled anti-insurgency operations. The victims of alleged “fake encounters” included Saikhom Samungou, son of (s/o) late Saikhom Amuyaima of Nongbrang Awang Leikai, Sanasam Ngongo Meitei (15), s/o Sanasam Naba of Nongbrang Makha Leikai and Thiyam Sunder, s/o late Thiyam Nabachandra of Thiyam Khunjao Awang Leikai, who were killed by 28th Assam Rifles personnel in a joint operation with State Police Commandos at Bonghol Khullen under Yairipok Police Station in Thoubal district on 10 January 2005;[8] Zangkhopao Kuki who was killed by 9th Assam Rifles personnel in between Pashang and Molnom village under Litan police station in Ukhrul district on 12 January 2005;[9] Keshorjit Singh of the Nongada area in Imphal East district who was killed on 21 June 2005 by the Assam Rifles personnel;[10] Ahanthem Rameshwor who was killed by the Assam Rifles personnel based at Sagolmang on 30 June 2005;[11] and Laishangthem Indramani, s/o L Tomba Singh of Kairenbikhok Awang Leikai, who was killed by the police at Pechinching under Yairipok police station in Thoubal district on 11 October 2005.[12]

    Asian Centre for Human Rights also documented many reported cases of deaths of persons taken into custody during anti-insurgency operations. The victims of custodial death included Kamal Kumar Chhetry, son of (s/o) Yuda Bir Chhetry, who was killed by 14th Assam Rifles personnel at Chandraman Nepali village under Kangpokpi police station after being picked up from his house on 17 February 2005;[13] Kamkhosei Khongsai of Lhungjang village under Saikul subdivision who was killed by 13th Assam Rifles personnel on the night of 24 April 2005 after being arrested without arrest memo,[14] Ahanthem Rameshwor of Bamon Kampu, working at the Pukhao Leitanpokpi Primary School at Leitanpokpi, who was killed by the Assam Rifles personnel based at Sagolmang on 30 June 2005;[15] and Ng Ingocha of Ningel who allegedly died on 22 August 2005 following torture by 37th Assam Riffles personnel after being arrested on 18 August 2005 from Moreh in Thoubal district.[16]

    Many innocent civilians were also killed in arbitrary use of fire-arms by the security forces. The National Crime Records Bureau stated that 3 civilians were killed and 32 others were injured in police firing in the state during 2005.[17] The victims killed in indiscriminate firing by the security forces included Solet Mate, chief of Nongkhong village in Chandel district, who was killed by the Assam Rifles personnel during an operation in the village on 30 October 2005,[18] and three persons identified as Lianzamang, Kailian, both from Maultam village and Punchinhou alias Hahou of Zoumum village who were killed on the night of 14 December 2005, when security forces opened indiscriminate firing to disperse a mob demanding compensation and rehabilitation due to displacement as a result of the construction of the Khuga dam in Churachandpur district.[19]

    b. Arbitrary arrest, illegal detention and torture

    Arbitrary arrest, detention, torture and other abuses in the garb of fighting insurgency were regular across Manipur. On 25 July 2005, L Premananda was allegedly arrested by security forces from his house at Kwakeithel Moirang Purel Leikai. The victim claimed third degree torture during illegal detention including by pouring chilly powder and sauce on the anus and electric shocks at the private part. Later, the victim was reportedly kicked down from a moving vehicle with his eyes blindfolded at Langol area.[20]

    Others who were arbitrarily arrested by the security forces included Jamkhomang Haokip, secretary of M Jangnomphai village under Sapermeina police station and Ngamsei Kipgen, secretary of Moisang village under Kangpokpi police station, who were arrested by the 14th Assam Rifles personnel from Sapermeina on 13 January 2005;[21] six villagers including Hemin Khongsai who were picked up by 14th Assam Rifles personnel from Kangpokpi area during 6-9 February 2005;[22] Tongbram Ibungomcha Singh of Thanga and four others including Kh Ranjan Singh and Ph Robi Singh of Phumlou who were arrested by the Assam Rifles personnel from Phumlou area of Bishnupur district on 7 March 2005;[23] and two youths identified as Ch Mohon Singh from Phumlou Bazar and Thongram Ibungomacha of Moirang who were arrested on 7 March 2005.[24] Most of the victims were arrested without being issued any arrest memo and were allegedly tortured in custody.

    The Assam Rifles personnel also harassed and tortured innocent villagers in rural areas in retaliation to attacks by the armed opposition groups on the security forces. On 16 February 2005, the Assam Rifles personnel allegedly beat up several villagers, including women at Kumbi in Bishnupur district following killing of five Assam Rifles personnel by the members of Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup, a banned armed opposition group, at Kumbi.[25]

    c. Impunity

    The Central security forces enjoyed absolute impunity under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958. In January 2005, the state government of Manipur appointed retired district and session judge C Upendra to simultaneously conduct three inquiries into the (i) killing of three Kuki students – Limkhougam Baite, LS Thangkhopao Baite and Thanmingthang Baite by the State police commandos at KR Lane near New Checkon on 25 October 2004; (ii) killing of retired teacher LD Rengtuiwan and injuring his wife Thangmuchin by the 28th Assam Rifles personnel at Bungte Chiru on 16 November 2004; and (iii) killing of K Bimol of Moirang by the State police commandos at Nongren Chingmang in Imphal East on 29 December 2004.[26] However, on 11 March 2005, the Assam Rifles challenged the legality of instituting the Judge C Upendra panel by the State Government of Manipur to probe the killing of a retired teacher LD Rengtuiwan at Bungte Chiru by the Assam Rifles personnel in November 2004 on the ground that the State Government had no jurisdiction to inquire into the conduct of the personnel belonging to the armed forces under the AFSPA of 1958.[27]

    With regard to the killing of Thangjang Manorama Devi in July 2004, on 23 June 2005 the Guwahati High Court directed Manipur State Government to hand over the report of Justice (retd) C Upendra Singh Commission to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs for necessary action against those indicted in the inquiry report without loss of time.[28] No action has been taken.

    The orders of the Gauhati High Court to pay compensation to the victims of torture at the hands of the security forces during the previous years only added credence to the allegations of human rights violations by the security forces. On 18 May 2005, the Gauhati High Court directed the State Government to pay Rs 75,000 as compensation within three months to one Ningthoujam Pishak-macha Devi who was tortured by the police at Ingkhol in Pheija Leitong on 2 March 1996.[29] On 10 November 2005, the Gauhati High Court also ordered the Assam Rifles to pay compensation of Rs. 1 lakh each to the kin of two persons, Mayengbam Bisheshwar and Maibam Naobi who were killed by 8th Assam Rifles personnel on 22 July 2000 in Tharoijam.[30]

    3. Violations of international humanitarian laws by the AOGs

    The main armed opposition groups were United National Liberation Front (UNLF), People's Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (PREPAK), Kanglei Yaol Kanba Lup (KYKL), People's United Liberation Front (PULF), North East Minority Peoples Front (NEMPF), Islamic National Front, Islamic Revolutionary Front (IRF), United Islamic Liberation Army (UILA), both Issac-Muivah and Kaplang factions of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland, Kuki National Army (KNA), Kuki National Front (KNF), Kuki Revolutionary Army (KRA) and Zomi Revolutionary Army (ZRA).[31]

    a. Deprivation of the right to life

    The armed opposition groups were responsible for gross violations of international human rights including arbitrary deprivation of the right to life.

    Asian Centre for Human Rights documented several killings allegedly by the members of the armed opposition groups. In some cases, the armed opposition groups played the role of moral police and carried out execution of civilians in the most brutal way for failing to comply with their diktat.

    On the night of 22 April 2005, cadres of the proscribed Kanglei Yawol Kann Lup (KYKL)[32] killed five alleged drug dealers Md Sikandar, Md Sajid Khan, Md Munal, Md Balal  and Md Sanideer  at Khetrigao area in Imphal East district.[33] On the night of 31 May 2005, two non-tribal tobacco sellers were shot dead and another injured by unidentified gunmen at Kakching Bazar in Thoubal district of Manipur. Earlier banned Revolutionary People's Front announced that it would punish those found selling and chewing zarda and khaini.[34]

    The other victims of extrajudicial killings by the members of the armed opposition groups included Irom Maikoi alias Jiten of Kakching Hawairou who was killed for playing cards at Hawairou under Kakching police station in Thoubal district on 3 January 2005;[35] Tontang Koshang, son of Tontang Angrong of Thawai village, who was allegedly killed near Molnom Kuki village in Ukhrul district on 7 January 2005;[36] Sinam Deben of Yurembam Maning Leikai who was killed at Yurembam under Patsoi police station on 10 January 2005;[37] Laishram Panchami who was killed at Heinou Makhong in Moreh in Chandel district on 12 January 2005;[38] Moirangthem Birbabu Singh who was abducted and killed in Wangjing in Thoubal district on 3 February 2005;[39] Aribam Basantakumar, a betel shop owner, who was abducted and killed in Imphal East district on 8 February 2005;[40] Suonkhomang alias Mangboi, son of Jamdhohen who was tortured to death after abduction from his residence at Vengnuam New Lamka on 22 March 2005;[41] Leimapokpam Kumarjit Singh and P Shankar who were killed at Moreh town in Chandel district on 2 May 2005,[42] schoolteacher Hemkhojang Haokip alias Ngamyang of Pangmol village who was killed in Imphal district on 23 November 2005, Yum-lembam Geetchandra alias Geet of Keishampat Leima-jam Leikai under Porompat police station who was killed on 25 November 2005;[43] Nongmaithem Bijoy, Sapam Yaiskul and Premjit, all from Lairenkabi village under Lamsang police station in Imphal West district who were killed on 28 November 2005;[44] Angom Ibomcha Meitei of Sugnu Awang Leikai, Angom Sadananda alias Inao of Sugnu Mayai Leikai, Wahengbam Gouramohan of Sugnu Awang Leikai and Paokholal of Sugnu Zou Veng who were killed in an ambush by alleged underground cadres at Umathel Sandumba Achouba under Sugnu police station at Umathel on 10 August 2005[45] and Maibam Kanhai, member of  the Kadangban Gram Panchayat under Lamsang Police Station, who was killed at Sham-bei Khun, Wakanthong on 7 December 2005.[46]

    b. Extortion

    Extortion by the armed opposition group was rampant in Manipur. On 2 March 2005, the Principal of the Manipur Institute of Technology, Takyelpat, Mr. Thingom Kulachandra, was shot at his leg by unidentified gunmen at Mongsangei in Imphal allegedly for not paying Rs five lakh extortion that an underground outfit had demanded from the staff of Manipur Institute of Technology Takyelpat a few days before the incident.[47] In June 2005, more than eight senior professors including some head of the departments of the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences in Imphal resigned from their posts following alleged extortion demands from underground outfits in Manipur.[48] On 26 October 2005, the government employees in Thoubal district went on leave en masse in protest against extortion demands by the armed opposition groups.[49]

    On 11 November 2005, at least two persons were killed and 19 others injured at a blast carried out by banned Kanglei Yawol Kann Lup at a Market in Imphal. The KYKL stated that the bomb attack was carried out to target a particular shop which had refused to pay money to the outfit.[50]

    4. Violence against women

    The National Crime Records Bureau reported 140 cases of violence against women in Manipur, including 25 cases of rape, 69 cases of abductions, 25 cases of molestation, among others during 2005.[51] An NGO viz. Women Action for Development also stated that 28 women were raped and 14 murdered in Manipur during January 2005- October 2005.[52] Yet, the state government failed to establish State Women Commission to deal with the violence against women.

    The security forces were also responsible for sexual assault. On 17 January 2005, Kongbrailatpam Kiran Devi, wife of Bimol Sharma, was allegedly molested by a jawan of 11th Garhwal Rifles, B Coy, after entering her house on the pretext of asking for water at Ngankha Lawai under Moirang police station.[53]

    5. Violations of the rights of the child

    The National Crime Records Bureau recorded 20 cases of crimes against children in Manipur, including 3 murder cases, 4 rape cases and 13 abduction cases during 2005.[54]

    Children were victims of the armed conflict, as many children were killed during 2005 in crossfire between the security forces and the members of the armed opposition groups.

    On 18 January 2005, a woman identified as Lourembam Maipak and a 9-year-old girl identified as Thokchom Puspa, daughter of Th. Sobita, were shot dead while trying to flee upon hearing gunshots during an encounter between the armed opposition groups and personnel of the 132 Bn Central Reserve Police Force at Wangoo Nongyaikhong Mapal Chingongleimakhong in Thoubal district.[55] On 19 January 2005, Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh announced an ex-gratia of Rs 1 lakh each to the family members of the deceased; but rejected a demand for a judicial inquiry.[56]

    On 5 May 2005, two women and an 18-month-old child[57] were reportedly killed during an encounter between the Assam Rifles and Kuki armed opposition groups at Saitu village under Sapermeina police station in Senapati district of Manipur. The Assam Rifles has reportedly agreed to pay compensation of Rs 1 lakh to the family of the deceased and others as per the Kuki customary laws.[58]

    On 19 November 2005, 10-year-old Rajanglung was killed along with his parents Duothaolung Rongmei and Chuncham Liu, and grandfather Meithuanlung were killed in crossfire between 38th Assam Rifles personnel and members of an armed opposition group at Longmai part-III under Longmai police station of Tamenglong district.[59]

    6. Violations of the prisoners' rights

    According to NHRC, the total capacity of the three jails of Manipur was 1140. There were only 391 prisoners of which undertrial prisoners (359) constituted an overwhelming 91.8% as on 31 December 2004.[60]

    However, the condition of the Sajiwa jail, which is the biggest jail in the state, remained deplorable. With the detention of over 450 activists of Meetei Eron Eyek Loinasinlon Apunba Lup (MEELAL) in April 2005 for protesting against use of the Bengali script in the state, the accommodation in the jail had become a great problem. The jail had a capacity of only 700 prisoners. In the face of shortage of accommodations, some of the MEELAL activists were forced to share a room with the drug addicts. The MEELAL activists told the visiting newsmen that the jail had just one bed and pain killers as medicine. There was only one van for the entire jail for transporting the prisoners. There was no ambulance to meet any emergency. According to the Inspector General of Police (Prison), PM Goud, Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had released Rs 3.14 crore for modernization of the Sajiwa jail.[61]

    7. Status of the Internally Displaced Persons

    The armed conflict also displaced people from their land. About 50 villagers from Barak circle (which comprised of eight villages) were forced to flee fearing persecution by the security forces during “Operation Tornado” launched on 27 October 2005. Several houses were reportedly damaged in the operation. A team of Manipur Human Rights Commission visited the displaced camping at a relief camp at a town hall in Jiribam district.[62]



    [1]. ‘337 UGs, 364 civilians killed since 2002', The Kanglaonline, 28 June 2005

    [2]. Militant activities on the rise in Manipur, The Sentinel, 29 May 2005

    [3]. Militants kill 5 in Manipur, The Assam Tribune, 24 April 2005  

    [4]. Villagers flee Barak flushout, The Telegraph, 1 November 2005

    [5]. NGOs take out rally to protest violence against women, The Assam Tribune, 1 December 2005

    [6]. 2004-2005 Annual Report of NHRC of India

    [7]. Rights panel indicts police - Judge asks Manipur force to stick to lawbook, The Telegraph, 21 December 2005

    [8]. 3 killed under contrasting claims, The Sangaiexpress, 12 January 2005

    [9]. Another encounter killing sparks fresh protest, The Kanglaonline, 13 January 2005

    [10]. Jawans kill minister's relative, The Assam Tribune, 22 June 2005

    [11]. AR authorities apologise, order court of inquiry into death - AR beat captive labourer to death, The Kanglaonline, 2 July 2005

    [12]. Tbl killing sparks strong protest, The Kanglaonline, 13 October 2005

    [13]. The truth about the death of a civilian at Kpi told, The Sangaiexpress, 19 February 2005

    [14]. Another custodial death slur against AR, The Kanglaonline, 27 April 2005

    [15]. AR authorities apologise, order court of inquiry into death - AR beat captive labourer to death, The Kanglaonline, 2 July 2005

    [16]. Thoubal bandh over Moreh killing, The Kanglaonline, 3 September 2005

    [17]. 2005 Annual Report of National Crime Records Bureau

    [18]. Village chief killed by AR during Operation Khukri, The Kanglaonline, 1 November 2005

    [19]. Three killed, over 25 hurt in firing by security forces at Khuga dam, The Kanglaonline, 16 December 2005

    [20]. Torture slur on SF, The Sangaiexpress, 28 July 2005

    [21]. MHRC seeks report on AR arrest, The Sangaiexpress, 20 January 2005

    [22]. AR detentions spark public ire at Kpi, The Kanglaonline, 10 February 2005

    [23]. Police report cast slur on AR, The Sangaiexpress, 1 April 2005

    [24]. DGP asked to ensure safety of arrested youth, The Sangaiexpress, 15 March 2005

    [25]. Several hospitalized after suffering AR wrath, The Kanglaonline, 19 February 2005

    [26]. Upendra to conduct hearings of three cases at one time, The Sangaiexpress, 15 January 2005

    [27]. Panel serves arrest warrant on AR men, The Sangaiexpress, 16 March 2005

    [28]. Manipur Govt directed to hand over report to Home Ministry, The Shillong Times, 24 June 2005

    [29]. Compensation, The Sangaiexpress, 19 May 2005

    [30]. Court orders Rs.1 lakh each compensation for two killed by AR, The Kanglaonline, 11 November 2005

    [31]. ACHR Report 2005, available at: http://www.achrweb.org/reports/india/AR05/manipur.htm

    [32]. KYKL claims responsibility for killing ‘drug dealers', The Sentinel, 26 April 2005

    [33]. Militants kill 5 in Manipur, The Assam Tribune, 24 April 2005

    [34]. Thoubal tobacco traders shot dead, The Telegraph, 2 June 2005

    [35]. Public outraged as militants kill youth senselessly, The Kanglaonline, 5 January 2005

    [36]. Anger, condemnation of killing of Khoibu youth, The Kanglaonline, 10 January 2005

    [37]. Civilian killed, four others hurt in attack on MR team, The Kanglaonline, 11 January 2005

    [38]. Tension high at Moreh following killing, The Kanglaonline, 13 January 2005

    [39]. Killing sparks blockade rerun, The Telegraph, 5 February 2005

    [40]. Betel trader abducted, killed in Manipur, The Assam Tribune, 11 February 2005

    [41]. 1 killed in CCpur killing spree, The Sangaiexpress, 24 March 2005

    [42]. Moreh tense after twin killings, The Telegraph, 4 May 2005

    [43]. Two, including teacher, shot dead, The Sangaiexpress, 26 November 2005

    [44]. Protest over killing of three youths, The Shillong Times, 2 December 2005

    [45]. Four die in attack on civilian truck at Umathel: Handiwork of KYKL cadres, say police, Army authorities; families blame security forces, The Kanglaonline, 12 August 2005

    [46]. Gram Panchayat member shot dead, The Sangaiexpress, 9 December 2005

    [47]. MIT Principal shot, wounded, The Kanglaonline, 3 March 2005

    [48]. Teachers quit due to extortion, The Asian Age, 23 June 2005

    [49]. Staff protest rebel diktat  - Manipur workers go on mass leave, The Telegraph, 27 October 2005

    [50]. KYKL claims responsibility, The Assam Tribune, 12 November 2005

    [51]. 2005 Annual Report of National Crime Records Bureau

    [52]. NGOs take out rally to protest violence against women, The Assam Tribune, 1 December 2005

    [53]. Phubala womenfolk up in arms over alleged molestation, The Kanglaonline, 18 January 2005

    [54]. 2005 Annual Report of National Crime Records Bureau, Government of India

    [55]. Nine-year old among three slain by CRPF, The Kanglaonline, 19 January 2005

    [56]. Ibobi strikes peace deal, The Telegraph, 20 January 2005

    [57]. Manipur encounter deaths: Army orders probe, The Hindu, 6 May 2005

    [58]. AR to pay compensation for firing victims, The Kanglaonline, 7 May 2005

    [59]. Four members of family killed as UGs, SFs exchange gunfire at Tml, The Kanglaonline, 21 November 2005

    [60]. NHRC's prison population statistics

    [61]. Sajiwa jail overcrowded with undertrials, The Assam Tribune, 7 April 2005

    [62]. Villagers flee Barak flushout, The Telegraph, 1 November 2005

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