Manipuri Village Rebuilds Life after Rebel Group Torches 18 Houses over Land Dispute

Reported by

Aditi PatilLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

May 5, 2021

Location of Conflict

Makhan Khuman



Reason or Cause of Conflict

Communal/Ethnic Conflict



People Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)





Land Use

On September 17, 2019, about 100 miscreants, allegedly from Maram village, armed with guns and automatic rifles, torched at least 10 houses in Makhan village, along National Highway2. Members of the Makhan Peoples Organisation, formed by the residents of Makhan, claim that the suspected rebels belong to the Northern Maram People's Organisation (NMPO), which has a long history of land dispute with the Makhan residents (Identity politics is rampant in Manipur between its different tribes. The registration of the groups formed by these tribes does not exist on paper and hence it is difficult to track them). On September 22, 2019, the NMPO argued that the act was triggered by the intolerable actions of the Makhan people, in addition to the encroachment on their lands. However, they denied locking and burning houses with people inside them. The allegedly provocative acts by the Makhan people began when they stopped paying tenant taxes to the Maram people in 1988, after settling in their lands in the 1970s, according to NMPO President Talu Dominic. This happened after the Makhan people allegedly misinformed the Indian army posted there about taxes being collected by the Maram people. Eventually, the Makhan people began encroaching upon more Maram land. NMPO also claimed that in 2013, Makhan people dismantled a large number of houses in a Maram village called Naojai and on June 23, 2014, attacked the same village with weapons and guns. There were additional claims about the Makhan people dismantling the fence of Maram horticulture land that was donated to the state's horticulture department and constructing a playground and community hall for themselves. The Maram people, hence, demanded that further encroachment by the Makhan people and constructions on the horticulture land be stopped. Provoked by the torching of their houses, the Makhan people residing along NH2 blocked all vehicular movement on the ImphalDimapur road unless the police arrested the culprits within a day. The protest was later lifted after N. Kayisii, minister of tribal and hill areas development, assured to look into the case and deliver justice within 72 hours. Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC were imposed to control the situation and maintain peace in the area. According to a local source who wishes to remain anonymous, the matter never went to court but is now settled. The torched houses are being rebuilt by the residents of Makhan.

Region Classification


Type of Land


Private and Common

Type of Common Land

Total investment involved (in Crores):

Type of investment:

Land Area Affected
(in Hectares):


Starting Year


Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand for legal recognition of land rights

Government Bodies Involved in the Conflict:

Ministry of Tribal and Hill Areas Development

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Has the Conflict Ended?


When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Resources Related to Conflict

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