It's a sad incident, but an impression is being given that it happens every day in Manipur, he said.
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Friday questioned the timing of the release of a viral video, showing two women being paraded naked in strife-torn Manipur, just a day before the commencement of Parliament's monsoon session and claimed that politics was behind the leak.
Addressing a press conference here, Mr Sarma claimed that incidents of rape are much higher in some opposition-ruled states like West Bengal, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh than BJP-ruled Manipur or other northeastern provinces.
"The case (regarding the incident) was registered long back, video was available. It was leaked a day before the commencement of the Parliament session. So, some kind of political things are involved," he added.
Mr Sarma, however, said in the same breath that it was a gruesome incident and it cannot be condoned despite the timing of the release of the video.
"Irrespective of the date of release of the video, the incident should be condemned, culprits should be punished -- on that I have no issue. But you should not defame entire Manipur or Northeast," he added.
He claimed that rape incidents happen less in the Northeast, especially in Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.
"This is a sad incident, but an impression is being given that it happens every day in Manipur. If you compare rape incidents of West Bengal, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh against Manipur, it's less in Manipur," he added.
A video from May 4 surfaced on Wednesday showing two women in Manipur being paraded naked and molested by a mob.
The alleged main accused was arrested on Thursday. The incident has drawn widespread condemnation across the country. The FIR on the incident was filed on June 21.
The monsoon session of the Parliament began on Thursday.
More than 160 people have lost their lives and several injured since ethnic violence broke out in the state on May 3, when a 'Tribal Solidarity March' was organised in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community's demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.
Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur's population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley, while tribals, which include Nagas and Kukis, constitute 40 per cent and reside mostly in the hill districts.
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