INDIA: Indiscriminate firing kills two and injures three in Manipur


Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-073-2010
ISSUES: Extrajudicial killings, Impunity, Military,

Dear friends, 

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information from Human Rights Alert (HRA) that in two separate incidents of indiscriminate firing two persons were killed and three others injured in Manipur. HRA is a human rights organisation based in Imphal, Manipur state. The first incident happened on 6 May and the second one on 28 May. Unfortunately both incidents happened during the prevailing tense environment in the state which has only helped to deteriorate the situation further. The incidents once again showcase the irresponsible nature of the state agencies in Manipur and their utter disregard to human life. 


On 6 May 2010 at about 9.25am, the villagers of Senapati District had gathered at Mao town to welcome the General Secretary of a factional Naga political outfit, the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isac – Muivah) Group (NSCN-IM), Mr. Muivah. Muivah was planning to visit his home village Somtal in Ukhrul district in Manipur. 

The details concerning the political issues related to Muivah’s visit to Manipur is available at: AHRC-STM-083-2010 

An estimated 400 villagers had gathered at Mao town in support of Muivah. Mao is a border town in Manipur close to Nagaland. The government of Manipur with questionable political intentions had prohibited Muivah from entering the state. The administration in order to retain control over the public and to prevent them from organising gatherings had declared a temporary emergency in Mao under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code 1974. 

The entire town was under the local police and other armed military units, the Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB) in particular. As soon as the villagers increased in numbers, the local police and the district administration started demanding the people to disperse and go home. The people refused and insisted that neither the state government nor the IRB have a right to prevent them from gathering or expressing support to their leader. 

Soon the IRB and the local police started firing teargas shells at the people. Two persons, Mr. Nili Chokho and Mr. D. Lima Oshuo, were shot dead by the IRB at the scene. The witnesses to the incident and some Naga organisations allege that the two victims were shot dead when they were found hiding inside a community hall. The fact that the two victims were members of the Naga community infuriated the existing tension in the state as the entire state was by then divided between the Naga and Meitei nationalist interests. 

No credible and independent investigation was ordered into the firing, as it is the practice of the state agencies operating in Manipur to kill with impunity. Neither is the state government concerned about finding the background that led the officers to fire upon unarmed persons despite public outcry. 

The standoff between the Nagas and the Manipur state administration intensified further after the firing. The economic blockade against Manipur organised by the Naga groups is complete but for Highway 53 from the neighbouring state Assam. Since the past three weeks the Manipur state government is using Highway 53 to bring essential food and other commodities into Manipur. The highway is long winding, is in a dilapidated condition and treacherous even for what is expected to be in a mountainous landscape at the foothills of Himalayas. 

The vehicles bringing commodities into Manipur through Highway 53 is accompanied by armed security forces from the IRB as well as the Manipur State Police Commando Unit. 

On 28 May one of the 360 vehicles lost control while negotiating the Highway and fell into a gorge near a place called Lu-Khambi. The vehicle bearing number MN01-6458 is an oil tanker. The local people gathered at the accident site trying to help the driver and his assistant. They were also searching for means to recover the truck and if possible to save whatever of the cargo is left in the vehicle’s containers. 

Soon after the accident, the IRB and the police commandos came to the accident site and without any provocation started firing at the local villagers. It is reported that the officers even dragged villagers out of their houses and abused and attacked them with rifle butts. The officers fired at the villagers and attacked them since they thought that the accident is the result of a sabotage organised by the Nagas. One of the drivers tried to explain to the officers that the accident happened when they lost control of the truck. The officers however did not listen. 

It is reported that several persons were injured in the incident of which the details of three persons are known as they sought medical treatment at the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), Imphal. Unfortunately this incident too is not properly investigated and there is no guarantee that the government will conduct any disciplinary action against its officers who are engaged in open violation of the rules of deployment and further operating with complete impunity negating all legal and procedural formalities violating fundamental and human rights of the citizens. 

This incident too added further fire into the existing standoff in the region between the Meiteis and the Nagas. The indiscriminate use of force by the officers also illuminates the fact that the Manipur state administration is definitely not in any mood to find an amicable settlement to the ongoing tension in the state and further also suggests the overwhelming fear among the general public that the administration is using the nationalist standoff between the Meiteis and the Nagas in the region for meagre political gain. 

The state government must investigate the two incidents and take appropriate actions against the officers who are engaged in both incidents if they are found guilty of using unwarranted force against civilians that has resulted in death and breach of peace. The witnesses to the incident must be questioned and their statements recorded. The central government must seriously view the two incidents as calculated acts by those leading the Manipur state administration to breach public peace with a view to illegally benefit from it. The central government must also intervene in the ongoing impasse in Manipur without any further delay and ensure that the state administration in Manipur; and Meitei and Naga nationalist organisations operating in India are brought to a discussion table so that the ongoing economic standoff is brought to an end. 


Further details concerning human rights issues, particularly concerning Manipur could be found at: AHRC-STM-083-2010AHRC-FST-034-2010 and AHRC-STM-012-2010


Please write letters to the authorities listed below asking for their immediate intervention regarding this case. Immediate actions must be taken to end the ongoing standoff between the Naga and Meitei nationalist organisations operating in India. Another incident of similar nature must be prevented, failing which the existing situation could easily escalate into a regional conflict of which the human and economic loss could be very high.

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Dear _________, 

INDIA: Indiscriminate firing in Mao town and Lu-khambi must be investigated 

Name of victims: 
1. Mr. Nili Chokho, aged 19 years, Kalinamei village, Senapati district, Manipur 
2. Mr. D. Lima Oshuo, aged 19 years, Kalinamei village, Senapati district, Manipur 
3. Ms. Ariyang, aged 45 years, Lu-khambi, resident within the jurisdiction of Noney Police Station, Tangmenglong, Manipur 
4. Ms. Esther Kamei, aged 25 years, Lu-khambi, resident within the jurisdiction of Noney Police Station, Tangmenglong, Manipur 
5. Mr. K. Bobison, aged 25 years, Lu-khambi, resident within the jurisdiction of Noney Police Station, Tangmenglong, Manipur 
Alleged perpetrators: 
Officers of the Indian Reserve Battalion and Manipur Police Commando Unit stationed at Mao on 6 May 2010 and escorting the vehicle convoy through National Highway 53 on 28 May 2010. 
Date of incident: 6 May 2010 and 28 May 2010 
Place of incident: Mao town, Senapati District and Lu-khambi within the jurisdiction of Noney Police Station, Manipur 

I am writing to express my concern about the indiscriminate police actions on two separate incidents reported from Manipur on 6 May and 28 May 2010 from Manipur. I am informed that in the two incidents the security agencies posted in Manipur, in particular, the officers of the Manipur State Police Commando Unit as well as the Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB), opened fire at unarmed civilians resulting in the death of two persons and injuring several others, in particular those mentioned in the victims’ list above. 

I am aware that the situation in Manipur is tense since the past two months and that the police actions have in no way contributed to diffusing the tension, but on the contrary has infuriated public anger against the state and its many agencies. I wish to bring to your attention that the two incidents have in fact deepened the existing divide between the Meiteis and Nagas living in and around Manipur and is an example of the complete failure of the Manipur state government to bring an end to the existing impasse. 

I am surprised to know that the Manipur state administration instead of reducing the tension in the region is intentionally engaged in acts that could escalate the situation into an uncontrollable state that could result in human and property loss in the region. I am equally worried about the ‘trigger happy’ nature of the state agencies stationed in Manipur who have reportedly used indiscriminate force as evident in the incidents quoted above as well in several past occasions where civilians have been killed. I am also concerned to know that no investigation has been ordered so far into both the incidents. 

I therefore request you to: 

1. Order an immediate enquiry into both incidents reported from Mao and Lu-khambi with a view to take actions against the IRB and/or state police officers who have killed and injured civilians; 
2. Make immediate arrangements to record the statements of the witnesses to the incident and to provide them security; 
3. Take appropriate steps so that the state government pay interim compensation to those who are injured in both incidents as well as to the family members of the two deceased; 
4. That the central government of India immediately intervene in the situation and the existing standoff between the Meitei and Naga nationalist movements is brought to an end through sensible and honourable negotiations. 

Yours sincerely, 


1. Dr. P. Chidambaram 
Minister, Ministry of Home Affairs 
Griha Mantralaya Room 
No. 104, North Block Central Secretariat 
New Delhi 110001 
Fax: +91 11 2301 5750, 2309 3750, 2309 2763 

2. Mr. Okram Ibobi 
Chief Minister & Home Minister of Manipur, 
Chief Minister’s Secretariat, Babupara 
Imphal 795001, Manipur 
Fax: + 91 385 2221817 

3. Chairperson 
National Human Rights Commission of India 
Faridkot House, Copernicus Marg 
New Delhi-110001 
Fax: +91 11 23340016 

4. Mrs. Sonia Gandhi 
President, Indian National Congress 
24, Akbar Road, 
New Delhi – 110011 
Fax: + 91 11 23018651 

Thank you. 

Urgent Appeals Programme 
Asian Human Rights Commission (

Document Type : Urgent Appeal Case
Document ID : AHRC-UAC-073-2010
Countries : India,
Issues : Extrajudicial killings, Impunity, Military,