Rights bodies demand action in case of sexual assault on Kuki women in Manipur 

The government of India is shooting the messenger instead of taking action against the war criminals, a group alleged.

July 20, 2023 12:56 pm | Updated 01:11 pm IST - Guwahati

Women hold torches and shout slogans as they take part in a demonstration demanding restoration of peace in Manipur following the ongoing ethnic violence in the State, in Imphal on July 18.

Women hold torches and shout slogans as they take part in a demonstration demanding restoration of peace in Manipur following the ongoing ethnic violence in the State, in Imphal on July 18. | Photo Credit: ANI

Rights groups have demanded swift action against the perpetrators of sexual assault in Manipur and speedy justice for two Kuki women paraded naked by a mob

The groups said they were aghast by a video clip showing a large group of men parading two women stripped naked and molesting them while dragging them toward a paddy field. The incident reportedly took place on May 4. 

“The torture and looting of the dignity of women in broad daylight in such a grotesque manner cannot be accepted or tolerated in any civilised society. We condemn the incident in the strongest possible term and demand swift action from the State government,” Dilip Chakma of the New Delhi-based Indigenous Rights Advocacy Centre said on Thursday. 

“We demand that a fair, unbiased investigation be completed within a specific time period, and the perpetrators must be brought to justice at the earliest,” he said, appealing to both the communities – Kuki and Meitei – to maintain peace. 

Welcoming the Supreme Court’s Suo-motu action against the incident of parading naked and gang-raping of the two Kuki women and murdering the victims’ brother, The Rights and Risks Analysis Group (RRAG) slammed the Centre for “shooting the messenger” instead of taking action against the “war criminals”. 

“The government took action against Twitter for the egregious video showing the ordeal of the two women. Without Twitter, the truth would have never come out, and no law-and-order problem has been created by these videos which forced Prime Minister Narendra Modi to speak for the first time on Manipur in the last 77 days of riots,” RRAG’s Suhas Chakma said. 

“In the light of the admitted inaction of the Manipur police in the 76 days, no fair investigation can be expected from them and its tweets are merely to assuage the outrage expressed across the country against the savage incident and not to establish accountability for the war crimes committed. Furthermore, this barbaric incident has not been referred to any other agency for investigation,” he said. 

Mr. Chakma said that in the light of the registration of the case by the apex court, there was no justification for the continuation of Nongthombam Biren Singh as the Chief Minister of Manipur. 

The Shillong-based Civil Society Women Organisation also condemned the groping, parading, manhandling, and slapping of two naked tribal women and parading them in B. Phainom village of Kangpokpi village in Manipur. 

“The authorities should act immediately to arrest the murderers and stop these terrorists,” CSWO president, Agnes Kharshiing said. 

“We know the Government of India and Manipur have eyes and intelligence everywhere. Such a heinous act against women could not have escaped the notice of those in authority. It looks like the perpetrators are protected,” she said, requesting the courts not to give bail to the perpetrators of such crimes if they are arrested.

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