Justice Gita Mittal Committee on Manipur Violence

Justice Gita Mittal Committee on Manipur Violence

This article covers “Daily Current Affairs”, and the topic details “ Justice Gita Mittal Committee on Manipur Violence”. This topic has relevance in the Governance section of the UPSC CSE exam.


GS 2: Governance


Why in the news?

The interim report concerning the May 2023 violence in Manipur has been submitted to the Supreme Court by the Justice Gita Mittal committee.


On May 3, 2023, violent ethnic clashes erupted in Manipur between the Meitei people in the Imphal Valley and the Kuki-Zo tribal community from the surrounding hills. The catalyst for the violence was a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ protesting the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status. The Manipur High Court’s order, directing the state government to recommend ST status by May 29, further intensified tensions.


Immediate Causes and Impact:

The violence resulted in more than 175 casualties, with 94 unclaimed bodies in state mortuaries. Over 70,000 people were displaced from their homes. The genesis of the conflict lies in the historical ST status of the Meitei community, seeking restoration after the merger of Manipur with the Indian Union.


Justice Gita Mittal Committee:

In response to the escalating situation, the Supreme Court appointed a three-member committee, led by former Jammu and Kashmir High Court Chief Justice Gita Mittal, in August 2023. Empowered to submit reports directly to the Supreme Court, the committee recently presented its thirteenth interim report.


Major Findings and Recommendations:

  • The committee’s key findings center on the sensitive issue of handling the deceased. It recommends directing victims’ relatives to perform the last rites, with state intervention if necessary.
  •  The report highlights external pressures from civil society organizations, alleging interference with last rites due to “vested interests” and to extract “unwarranted” concessions from state authorities.
  • The committee urges the Supreme Court to intervene by compelling the next of kin to claim bodies and conduct last rites. Additionally, it recommends prohibiting civil society organizations from obstructing or interfering with the solemn process.


Ethnic Diversity in Manipur:

Manipur is characterized by its diverse population, primarily divided into three main ethnic communities: Meiteis residing in the valley, and 29 major tribes in the hills, categorized into two primary ethno-denominations – Nagas and Kuki-Chins.



  • Population: With a majority presence of over 50%, Meiteis are the predominant ethnic group in Manipur, primarily residing in the Imphal Valley.
  • Religion: Meiteis predominantly follow the Hindu religion, contributing to the religious pluralism within the state.


Naga Group:

  • It Comprises various tribes such as Zeliangrong, Tangkhul, Mao, Maram, Maring, and Tarao.
  • Represents a significant portion of the hill communities in Manipur, each tribe contributing to the rich cultural tapestry of the region.

Chin-Kuki Group:

  • Encompassing tribes like Gangte, Hmar, Paite, Thadou, Vaiphei, Zou, Aimol, Chiru, Koireng, Kom, Anal, Chothe, Lamgang, Koirao, Thangal, Moyon, and Monsang.
  • The term ‘Chin’ refers to people in the neighboring Chin state of Myanmar, while in the Indian side, they are known as ‘Kukis.’
  • Certain groups like Paite, Zou, Gangte, and Vaiphei identify themselves as Zomi, distancing from the term ‘Kuki.’
  • Population: Constituting 25% of Manipur’s demographic landscape, Kukis predominantly inhabit the hilly regions of the state.
  • Religion: The majority of Kukis adhere to the Christian faith, contributing to the religious diversity in Manipur.


Cultural Commonalities:

  • Despite diverse ethnicities, all groups in Manipur share Mongoloid origins, fostering close similarities in culture and traditional practices.
  • The legend among various tribes, including Meiteis, narrates their origin from a cave in the north, underlining a shared historical narrative.

Cultural Distinctions:

  • Meiteis, residing in the valley, exhibit cultural differences from the surrounding hill tribes by predominantly following Hindu customs.
  • This cultural distinction adds a layer of diversity to Manipur’s social fabric, where religious practices contribute to the unique identity of each community.

Shared Heritage:

  • The coexistence of Meiteis in the valley and diverse tribes in the hills reflects the harmonious integration of various ethnicities in Manipur.
  • The shared heritage, despite cultural nuances, emphasizes unity in diversity, creating a mosaic of traditions that contributes to the cultural richness of the region.

SOURCE:Manipur violence: SC directs disposal of unclaimed bodies, tells state to give kin one week’s notice | India News – The Indian Express

Download Yojna daily current affairs eng med 29th November 2023

Q.1 Consider the following statements regarding Manipur’s Ethnic Communities:

  1. Meiteis constitute the majority ethnic group in Manipur.
  2. Meiteis primarily reside on the hills of Manipur
  3. Meiteis are primarily Christian by faith

How many of the above statement/s is/are correct? 

(a) Only one 

(b) Only two 

(c) All three 

(d) None




Q.2 Discuss the recent ethnic violence in Manipur, highlighting the underlying causes, and the socio-political implications for the region. Evaluate the role of historical factors, administrative decisions, and societal dynamics in contributing to the unrest. 

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