A video grab shows men in the mob that paraded two women naked amid Manipur violence
A horrific video of two women being paraded naked on a road by a group of men in Manipur has been shared widely on social media, drawing massive condemnation and calls for action. The two women were gang-raped in a field, a tribal organisation has alleged.
The incident happened on May 4 in Kangpokpi district, some 35 km from state capital Imphal, according a statement by the Indigenous Tribal Leaders' Forum (ITLF). The police, however, said the incident happened in another district, though the first information report (FIR) was filed in Kangpokpi.
Chief Minister N Biren Singh has ordered the police to investigate this case in priority. Mr Singh told NDTV that Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani spoke to him and the Chief Secretary on the horrific incident. She has been assured of speedy action against the perpetrators of the crime, Mr Singh said.
Ms Irani also tweeted she spoke with Mr Singh, who assured her that "no effort will be spared to bring the perpetrators to justice."
A day before this on-camera horror, clashes broke out between the valley-majority Meitei and the hill-majority Kuki tribe in Manipur over the Meiteis' demand for Scheduled Tribes (ST) status.
The ITLF in the statement said, "...The despicable scene, which happened on May 4 in Kangpokpi district, shows the men constantly molesting the helpless women, who cry and plead with their captors."
"The horrifying ordeal suffered by these innocent women is amplified by the perpetrators' decision to share the video, which shows the identity of the victims, on social media," the ITLF said, and appealed to the National Commission for Women and the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes to take action.
The Manipur Police in a tweet today said they have filed a case of gang-rape and murder.
"We have identified the men and will arrest them soon," a senior police officer told NDTV today. The officer said the survivors came to the police some 15 days after the horrific ordeal they went through on May 4. "They went to Kangpokpi, though the crime did not take place there. But we have got leads. We will catch the men in a day or two," the officer added.
Political leaders and others have expressed shock on social media over the Manipur incident, and asked the centre and the state government to take action against the men involved in the horrific act.
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra tweeted in Hindi that pictures of sexual violence against women coming from Manipur are heart-wrenching. "The amount of condemnation of this horrific incident of violence against women is less. Women and children have to bear the maximum brunt of violence in the society," she tweeted.
"Disturbing videos emerging from Manipur about a woman belonging to a particular community being paraded naked by a mob. There is total breakdown in the relationships of the two communities there. Hate has won in Manipur," Tripura's Tipra Motha Party chief Pradyot Bikram Manikya Debbarma tweeted.
"Attention India. The modesty of two tribal women from Manipur were outraged on 4th May. They were paraded naked, fondled and beaten in full public glare. A disturbing video taken by a perpetrator leaked and got viral today. This breaks all level of humanity," Manipur resident and journalist Hoihnu Hauzel tweeted.
Internet has been snapped in BJP-ruled Manipur since May 4. The state is still seeing sporadic violence.
The Kuki tribe has demanded the resignation of the Chief Minister. Over 120 have died in the ethnic violence and thousands have been internally displaced and are now living in relief camps.