Manipur violence | Sedition case against Meitei politician after Assam Rifles complaint

The article, written by the adviser to a Meitei political outfit, claimed that the Assam Rifles was protecting Myanmar-based Kuki “terrorists”; FIR filed by Assam Rifles

June 16, 2023 10:09 pm | Updated June 17, 2023 08:52 am IST - NEW DELHI

A First Information Report has been registered against Jagat Thoudam, adviser to a Meitei outfit named the Indigeneous People’s Front.

A First Information Report has been registered against Jagat Thoudam, adviser to a Meitei outfit named the Indigeneous People’s Front. | Photo Credit: Twitter/@jagat_thoudam

A criminal case has been registered against an Imphal-based politician for writing an opinion column where he alleged that the present crisis in Manipur is the creation of the Assam Rifles unit at Mantripukhri. The column, published on May 31 in an Imphal-based newspaper The Frontier Manipur and on news portals, alleged that Myanmar-based “Kuki terrorist outfits” were being protected by the Assam Rifles.

A First Information Report (FIR) was registered on June 12 at the Imphal West police station against Jagat Thoudam, adviser to a Meitei outfit named the Indigeneous People’s Front. The FIR, a copy of which is available with The Hindu, said that Mr. Thoudam has been booked under Section 124 A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), pertaining to sedition, and Section 153 A of the IPC, pertaining to promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony. The complaint was filed by the Headquarters Inspector General, Assam Rifles (South) at Mantripukhri in Imphal.

Mr. Thoudam could not be reached for comment.

Combating ‘fake news’

Since the ethnic violence in Manipur erupted on May 3, several Meitei groups have claimed that the Assam Rifles, the oldest paramilitary force in the country, was helping the Kuki insurgent groups that are in a suspension of operations (SoO) pact with the Central and Manipur governments. 

A government source said that in the wake of several social media posts and news articles that were peddling fake news to foment violence and chaos in the State, a dedicated team has been pressed into action to identify and flag such content. The internet has been blocked in Manipur since May 3.

The source said that 97 columns of Assam Rifles are currently deployed in Manipur, with 48 columns positioned in Meitei-dominated areas and 49 columns posted in Kuki-dominant areas. In the first wave of violence, there were more than 15,910 displaced people in the Assam Rifles camps, of which 9,236 or around 58% belonged to the Meitei community, the source added.

Sedition warning

On May 30, the Manipur government had issued an order that people found spreading misinformation about the ongoing ethnic clashes in the State would invite charges of sedition.

On June 2, the Dimapur-based III Corps of the Indian Army (also known as the Spear Corps) issued a statement condemning efforts to publicly out Meitei officers posted for duty in Manipur as the State was in the middle of ethnic conflict between the Kuki-Zomi people, a community of Scheduled Tribes, and the dominant Meitei people. 

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.