Nursing student in Manipur struggles to pick up the pieces after being thrashed by violent mob

She was dragged out of her hostel and beaten mercilessly, says her sister

July 25, 2023 10:30 pm | Updated 10:30 pm IST - New Delhi

The student, who belonged to the Kuki-Zo tribe, had been dragged out of her hostel. File.

The student, who belonged to the Kuki-Zo tribe, had been dragged out of her hostel. File. | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

On the night of May 4 as violence engulfed the State of Manipur, a second-year nursing student was left for dead at the Nightingale Nursing Institute in Porompat, Imphal, after being allegedly beaten mercilessly by a group that included women.

The student, who belonged to the Kuki-Zo tribe, had been dragged out of her hostel. A few members of the mob had demanded the student’s Aadhaar card and, after looking at the name, beaten her with sticks. The group of around 40 persons repeatedly shouted “rape her, torture her, cut her to pieces”, says the complaint made to the National Commission for Women on June 12.

Also read | More cases of women being assaulted surface in Manipur

The assault had resulted in the student losing her front teeth and caused severe damage to her jaw. Her back and legs were also injured. More than two months after the incident, her elder sister says the student has been discharged from hospital but still has difficulty speaking and walking.

According to the Indigenous Tribal Leaders Forum (ITLF), there were at least 8 Kuki-Zomi nursing students present at the nursing institute’s hostel at that time and six had managed to hide. Details about another Kuki-Zo student, who was also allegedly dragged out by the mob, could not be traced.

The nursing student was admitted to the Jawaharlal Institute of Medical Sciences (JNIMS), Imphal, at first. After three weeks, she was shifted to Mantripukhri Assam Rifle camp and eventually to Churachandpur. The family is in deep financial distress.

Because she could not go back to Imphal, the student approached the Bethesda Nursing School in Churachandpur for admission earlier this month, but had to drop the plans as the fees were too high.

Also read | Kuki women students of Manipur University recount horror of targeted attack by mob

“Our houses and properties have been burnt, we are in a difficult spot financially. She knows we won’t be able to afford the fees, she’s deeply depressed... At the moment, we are not in a position to plan for the future,” her sister told The Hindu. She was speaking in her native Thadou Kuki language, which was translated by an aide.

The sister said that the family was trying to provide the student emotional support. “Had we been in a position to provide for her studies she might be able to shift her focus,” she added.

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