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

Reported by

Aditi PatilLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

August 5, 2021

Location of Conflict

Makhan Khuman


Reason or Cause of Conflict

Communal/Ethnic Conflict



People Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)


Starting Year





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.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand for legal recognition of land rights

Region Classification


Type of Land


Type of Common Land

Total investment involved (in Crores):

Type of investment:

Year of Estimation

Has the Conflict Ended?


When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict


Legislations/Policies Involved

Whether claims/objections were made as per procedure in the relevant statute

What was the claim(s)/objection(s) raised by the community? What was the decision of the concerned government department?

Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:

Legal Status:

Out of Court

Status of Case In Court

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

Case Number

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

Torching of houses

Whether criminal law was used against protestors

Official name of the criminal law. Did the case reach trial?

Reported Details of the Violation:

Eighteen houses were torched and looted by armed rebels.

Date of Violation

September 17, 2019

Location of Violation

Makhan Khuman village

Nature of Protest


Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Ministry of Tribal and Hill Areas Development

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of Corporate Authorities Approached

Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Resources Related to Conflict

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Documented By

Aditi Patil

Reviewed By

Aditi Patil

Updated By

Aditi Patil

Edited By

Aditi PatilLand Conflict Watch

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