Kuki tribe ethnic cleansing in India by the Meitei valley people in Imphal City in Manipur, Northeastern India
In 2023, the “Kuki tribe” in Imphal City, Manipur, was forced out of the region by the Meitei “valley people,” resulting in a catastrophic loss of life and widespread destruction.
The conflict stemmed from a protest organized by the ‘All Tribal Students Union Manipur’ against including Meiteis in the Scheduled Tribe list, which ignited tensions between the two communities.
Following the protest, certain individuals from the Meitei people retaliated by setting fire to the Centenary Gate of the ‘Anglo-Kuki War.’ In response, the Kuki people pursued the Meiteis, leading to clashes along the border.
Unfortunately, the situation quickly deteriorated, with the Meiteis regrouping and launching a counterattack. This unleashed a wave of violence that lasted for days, characterized by burning of Kuki homes, churches, and villages.
The horrifying acts by the Meitei tribe
In an exclusive interview, Pastor Chongloi Sakhokai, Principal of Restoration Theological College, related the atrocities the Meiteis committed. He saw Meitei mobs running amuck, carrying sticks, and chanting slogans advocating for the killing of Kukis in Manipur.
The Meitei mob destroyed Kuki properties, looting homes, and department stores literary, turning the city into a fiery war zone.
The extent of the devastation became horrifyingly apparent as the conflict persisted. At least 106 Kukis died, and 201 Kuki villages were burned.
In addition, 355 churches and church-related premises were destroyed, leaving countless individuals displaced and homeless.
Shockingly, even individuals with mixed Meitei-Kuki heritage were not spared from the violence and were killed. Pastor Chongloi recounted two of her distant relative who was raped and murdered, as well as a family of three people, including a young boy, burned alive inside an ambulance.
Apparently, the Meitei “valley people” used the “Kuki tribe” protest at the commemorative gate as a pretext for ethnic cleansing. The Kuki tribe primarily resides in the hills of Manipur, which the Meiteis desired to acquire for themselves.
However, the Kukis spread throughout the region and opposed the Meiteis’ attempts to claim land in the hills.
With the Kukis tribe forcibly displaced, the Meiteis regained their properties and took control of the land.
The Meitei propaganda
Meteis are the instigators
False narratives to blame the Kukis for their own wrongdoing are propagated by the Meitei “valley people,” which are also perpetuated by the local media.
They are trying to brainwash the international press and generations to come that the Kukis initiated the genocide while the Meiteis merely defended themselves.
The truth is muddled, according to Pastor Chongloi.
For example, “Meiteis attacked and burned Kuki villages in Khamenlok, but false news claims were spread, blaming the Kukis for the violence. Kuki volunteers recovered weapons from the Meiteis, disproving the fabricated narrative. The truth is that the Meiteis instigated the conflict, not the Kukis.” – Pastor Chongloi.
During the May 4 siege, a mentally ill woman named Miss Donngaihching Hanghai was shot dead by a Meitei. They claimed she was a suicide bomber to justify the murder of yet another innocent Kuki victim.
People from the Evangelical Baptist Church in Lamphel know Donngaiching as they provide her with shelter. She had a bible in her bag when she was murdered.
Christians who knew her were deeply saddened more so that they couldn’t return to Imphal City for a proper funeral, as all Kukis are banned from entering the city.
The truth is muddled – Pastor Chongloi.
Kuki Organization for Human Rights
In response to the escalating crisis, Reverend Dr. Chongloi, who also serves as the General Secretary of the Kuki Organization for Human Rights, embarked on a mission to the United States.
His objectives were twofold: to appeal to the United Nations, leveraging the Kuki organization’s UN ECOSOC Special Consultative Status, and to seek assistance from the President of the United States.
The local government authorities in Manipur, including the Chief Minister, faced criticism for failing to protect the Kuki community despite firsthand knowledge of the destruction and attacks.