Syllabus: Internal Security
Why in NEWS
Amid reports that the bureaucracy and the police are split on ethnic lines in Manipur, the State government has asked officials to quit formal and informal groups on social media platforms that further “separatist, anti-national, communal and divisive agendas”.
- The Manipur conflict is an ongoing ethnic conflict in the north-eastern Indian state of Manipur
- Between the majority Meitei community and the minority Kuki tribal community.
- The conflict has its roots in the colonial era, when the British divided Manipur into two parts: the Imphal Valley, which was predominantly Meitei,
- The hills, which were predominantly Kuki. This division exacerbated tensions between the two communities, which have different cultures, languages, and religions.
- In the decades since independence, the conflict has flared up several times, most notably in the 1990s, when it resulted in the deaths of over 1,000 people.
- The current round of violence began in May 2023, and has been the deadliest yet. As of August 2023, over 180 people have been killed and over 50,000 have been displaced.
The conflict is complex and there are many factors that have contributed to it. Some of the key drivers include:
- Land and resource disputes: The Meitei and Kuki communities have long-standing disputes over land and resources, such as land for cultivation, forests, and water. These disputes have been exacerbated by the rapid growth of the population in Manipur.
- Political rivalry: The Meitei and Kuki communities have also been rivals for political power in Manipur. The Meitei community has traditionally dominated the state’s politics, but the Kuki community has been demanding greater representation.
- Ethnic hatred: There is a deep-seated hatred between the Meitei and Kuki communities. This hatred is fueled by historical grievances, as well as by fake news and misinformation that is often circulated on social media.
- Armed groups: There are a number of armed groups operating in Manipur, both Meitei and Kuki. These groups have often been involved in the conflict, either by directly participating in the violence or by providing support to their respective communities.