Join Us On:

'Committed to His Tribe': Uncle of 30-Year-Old Man Allegedly Beheaded in Manipur

"Instead of finishing him off with guns, they tortured him," David's uncle Buonkhawlien told The Quint.

News Videos
3 min read

The Quint DAILY

For impactful stories you just can’t miss

By subscribing you agree to our Privacy Policy


"They tortured him by gouging out his right eye and then cut off his right arm and asked, 'Do you want the other arm?' Then they chopped off his left arm as well," said Buonkhawlien, uncle of David Thiek, a tribal man allegedly beheaded and murdered in his home village Langza in Churachandpur district, Manipur.

30-year-old David is one of the many victims of ethnic violence between the Meiteis and the Kukis that has engulfed the northeastern state since 3 May.

What stands out, in this case, is the alleged brutality with which David was tortured to death.

Sitting next to David's disabled father Lalkhumlien, Buonkhawlien tells The Quint about David, his murder, and what he feels about the violence as a tribal.


More About David Thiek

30-year-old David Thiek grew up in Langza village, Churachandpur district. The older of two siblings, David's mother died when he was six.

His friends describe him as a passionate footballer who played in various village tournaments.

  • 01/07

    (Photo: Accessed by The Quint)

  • 02/07

    (Photo: Accessed by The Quint)

  • 03/07

    (Photo: Accessed by The Quint)

  • 04/07

    (Photo: Accessed by The Quint)

  • 05/07

    (Photo: Accessed by The Quint)

  • 06/07

    (Photo: Accessed by The Quint)

  • 07/07

    (Photo: Accessed by The Quint)

After finishing class 12 in school, he left for Mumbai where he purportedly worked at a restaurant.

When the pandemic hit in 2020, David returned home to Langza to take care of his disabled father. He had been home ever since.

He was planning to return to Mumbai but ethnic violence erupted in Manipur on 3 May. Two months later, he was brutally murdered, in his own beloved village.


'Instead Of finishing him off with guns

Buonkhawlien told The Quint on the day of the murder, David and other volunteers stayed in the village to look out for miscreants and thieves , that too without any protective equipment.

Sitting to next to David's disabled father Lalkhumlien, Buonkhawlien tells The Quint about David and his murder.

(Photo: Accessed by The Quint)

"When volunteers were on the lookout, terrorists with heavy weapons stormed in and surrounded the whole village. They captured some of the volunteers along with David and asked them which tribe they belonged to. David replied, 'I am Hmar, do whatever you want.' He was ready to face the consequences," Buonkhawlien narrated.

Soon after that, according to David's uncle, the mob tied his neck with a rope and dragged him to a field, near a playground.

"They tortured him by gouging out his right eye and then cut off his right arm and asked, 'Do you want the other arm?' Then they chopped off his left arm as well. Instead of finishing him off with guns, they tortured him. As if they hadn't had enough of the torture, they then cut his legs off as well."

Then, David was allegedly beheaded.

"Despite our son's commitments toward his tribe and community, they tortured him inhumanely," Buonkhawlien lamented.

David's father Lalkhumlien, who had earlier suffered from a stroke and is now disabled, has seen his health condition worsen after his son's shocking death.


FIR Filed, Investigation Underway, No Arrests

A complaint was filed by David's uncle Bounkhawlien at Churachandpur police station on 2 July. The complaint says that David's body parts "were burnt to ashes after chopping them into pieces, and his head was hung on a bamboo fence."

An FIR was lodged at Churachandpur Police Station against unknown people for murder and for unauthorised possession of firearms.

The case was transferred to Kumbi police station, Bishnupur.

Bishnupur Police told The Quint that while the investigation is underway, no arrests have been made so far.

"It's not just about David. Tribals across Manipur are feeling oppressed," David's uncle concluded.

Almost 200 people have died and around 60,000 have been displaced due to ethnic violence in Manipur. You can follow The Quint's coverage of the same here.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

Read Latest News and Breaking News at The Quint, browse for more from videos and news-videos

Topics:  Manipur violence 

Speaking truth to power requires allies like you.
Become a Member
3 months
12 months
12 months
Check Member Benefits
Read More