Manipur Unrest: Dead bodies finally disposed

After seven months bodies finally sent home on SC directive

ByIFP Bureau

Updated 15 Dec 2023, 5:40 pm

IFP Representational Image

In a swift midnight operation, bodies of those killed in the ethnic clashes lying in the mortuaries of Imphal and Churachandpur were secured by police backed by security forces and eventually flown home to their respective districts, viz. Imphal, Churachandpur and Kangpokpi on Thursday amid tight security.

The dead bodies of Meitei and Kuki-Zo communities who were killed in the early week of May 2023 were lying in limbo at Churachandpur, JNIMS and RIMS morgue, ever since the violence broke out on May 3, 2023. The arrangement was made after proper identification.
According to government officials, a total of 19 bodies were airlifted in two round trips at Motbung in Kangpokpi district and were later handed over to members of the Committee on Tribal Unity representing the deceased families.

A total of 41 bodies were airlifted and reached 36 sector Assam Rifles helipad in Churachandpur district in four trips.

A mass burial for those 19 bodies of Kangpokpi is scheduled to be held at Phaijang village, about 1 km from Motbung, and 20 km from Kangpokpi district headquarters, on December 15.

As for Churachandpur, mass burial for the 61 will be held near Tribal Martyr’s Park, Churachandpur district.

Meanwhile, four dead bodies of Meitei community were airlifted from Churachandpur morgue and their last rites will be performed by their families at their respective places.
The dead bodies from the violence, which had been lying in the morgues for several months, were moved as per directions of the Supreme Court so that the victims could receive a proper burial.


In a coordinated effort between the centre and state government, the dead bodies were moved out from the morgue early Thursday morning under heavy security cover of central forces, officials said.

It may be mentioned that the Supreme Court directed the Manipur government to make proper arrangements for the dignified burial of people who lost their lives in Manipur violence.

The bench, comprising CJI DY Chandrachud and Justice JB Pardiwala and Justice Manoj Misra, ordered a dignified burial based on a report prepared by the committee led by Justice Gita Mital.

A committee formed by the SC on August 7, 2023, which apprised the bench that there are 175 dead bodies without burials in the state. Of these, 169 were identified bodies, 81 of these bodies were claimed by the relatives or the next of kin, 88 were unclaimed and the remaining six bodies were unidentified in mortuaries.

Our Churachandpur Correspondent added that altogether 41 corpses of the Kuki-Zo martyrs who were kept at the mortuaries of JNIMS and RIMs since May 3, 2023, were airlifted on Thursday and are kept at the Morgue of Churachandpur Medical College.

The burial ceremony is expected to take place in a few days as per the decision of the Joint philanthropic organisations and Union Home ministry.

The 41 dead bodies airlifted from Imphal, started arriving by 9 am at the Helipad of the 36 AR, HQ Veng, Churachandpur and were then taken to the morgue of Churachandpur Medical College by 2:45 PM with heavy escort where eight Army and Police trucks transported the dead bodies amidst high security; photography was restricted.


The Joint Philanthropic Organization Churachandpur, who was tasked to decide the burial ground, had an understanding with the Union Home ministry that resulted in the airlifting of the 41 martyrs, said the Convenor of the JPO Laldawnlien Varte.

“We are thankful to the ministry of Home affairs for successfully bringing home our martyrs from Imphal to Lamka who are all identified and will be buried near Khuga Dam, Sehken,” he added.

“We are still yet to discuss the date and timing of the burial as the dead bodies reached late today”, he said.

The convenor of JPO also said that there are still 10 missing from the Kuki -Zo community and expressed that the JPO will leave no stone unturned to find them in the future.

Notwithstanding the security measures, the martyrs were greeted with a banner ‘You are home dear Martyrs, Our Ancestral lands welcome you, your death will not be in vain’.

The MLA of Churachandpur AC LM Khaute paid tribute to the martyrs by offering tributes to them and wrapping the coffins with traditional/customary shawls, after the coffins arrived.
Meanwhile, JNIMS director Laishram Deben told the media that he was not given any prior information about the transfer of bodies from the hospital morgue. He gave neither approval nor signed any document to allow the transfer of 27 bodies, he said.

Stressing that he had no idea about the transfer of the dead bodies, he announced that he is willing to resign from his post if the public demands.  


First published:


manipur policemeiteiskukismanipur violencevictim dead bodies

IFP Bureau

IFP Bureau

IMPHAL, Manipur


Top Stories

Loading data...

IFP Exclusive

Loading data...