A day after a video of two women being paraded naked in Manipur surfaced online, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said the issue is not that it’s a shame for the country but the immense pain and trauma inflicted on the women of the state.
Tension mounted in the hills of Manipur after a May 4 video surfaced online on Wednesday showing two women from one of the warring communities in Manipur’s Kangpokpi district being paraded naked by a mob from the other side. Before the start of the Monsoon session of Parliament on Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the incident has shamed 140 crore Indians, asserting that law will act with its full might and no guilty will be spared.
In a tweet, Gandhi said, “Prime Minister, the issue is not that it’s a shame for the country. The issue is the immense pain and trauma inflicted on the women of Manipur. Stop the violence immediately.”
Taking suo moto cognisance of the video, the Manipur Police had on Wednesday night registered a case of abduction, gang rape and murder at Nongpok Sekmai police station in Thoubal district against unidentified men. Officials said several police teams were formed immediately after the video of the incident surfaced online on Wednesday.
Manipur Women Paraded Naked: Four Arrested After Outrage Over Incident
A man who was part of the mob that paraded the two tribal women and was seen dragging one of them was arrested on Thursday.
In his first remarks on the ethnic violence in the northeastern state amid criticism by opposition parties for not speaking on the issue, Modi said, “My heart is filled with pain and anger.”
“What has happened to these daughters of Manipur can never be forgiven,” he said. He also requested all chief ministers to further strengthen law and order mechanisms in their states. Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh said a thorough investigation is underway into the incident and strict action, including possible capital punishment, will follow.
More than 150 people have been killed and several injured since ethnic violence broke out in Manipur 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 the state’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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