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Naked Kuki Women Video: What Happened and Why in Manipur?

Kuki women paraded naked in Manipur spark nationwide calls for action.

The tribal organization said that the two women from the Kuki-Zomi community, a minority tribal group, were gang-raped in a field. The women were dragged into the fields, groped, and then gang-raped as scores of men stood by and watched.

The incident happened on May 4 in the Kangpokpi area, around 35 kilometres from the state capital Imphal, according to a statement from the Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF). The clip of the incident began to spread on social media more than two months after the disturbance in the unrest-prone state.

What happened?

Day before the inauguration, violence erupted in Manipur between the Meitei and the Kuki women tribes over aspirations for Scheduled Tribes (ST) classification. Clashes between Manipur’s dominant Meitei and Kuki communities have been continuing since May 3.

According to Manipur Police, a gang-rape and murder case has been registered. According to the complaint submitted in response to the incident, these males are believed to be members of the Metei community.

The ITLF reports that “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 endured by these innocent women is heightened by the perpetrators’ decision to share the video, which reveals the victims’ identities, on social media,” the ITLF added. It requested action from the National Commission for Women and the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes.

Reaction

On social media, Indian political figures and others expressed astonishment over the Manipur event and urged the federal and state governments to punish the perpetrators.

N Biren Singh, the chief minister of Manipur, has commanded the police to look into this matter immediately. He met with Minister of Women and Child Development Smriti Irani about the terrible tragedy, and she received his assurance that swift action will be taken against the criminals.

The photos of sexual assault against women coming from Manipur, according to Congress politician Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, are terrible. “Over this horrible act of assault against women, there is less outcry. She tweeted that women and children bear the most of the weight of violence in society.

Prime Minister Modi’s “silence” and the “inaction” of the Union government were directly blamed by the Indian opposition parties. Rahul Gandhi, the head of the Congress, claimed that Modi’s “silence and inaction” have caused “anarchy in Manipur.”

Modi breaks silence

In response, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated that the horrifying footage of two women being paraded in Manipur while naked broke his heart and made him angry.

“No guilty will be spared, I want to tell the nation. The law will be followed in taking action. In his remarks prior to the start of the monsoon session of parliament, PM Modi stated that what happened to the daughters of Manipur could never be forgotten.

“My heart is overflowing with hurt and rage as I stand next to this sanctuary of democracy. Any civilized nation should be ashamed of the Manipur situation. The entire nation has been brought low.

The “deeply disturbing” film was denounced by the Supreme Court, who also stated that the images displayed “gross constitutional failure.”

The government was urged to take action and inform the court of its efforts to safeguard the safety of women in the area by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud.

The Chief Justice warned that the Supreme Court would take up the case on July 28 if the government didn’t take action.

Violence in Manipur

The Chief Minister’s resignation has been demanded by the Kuki tribe. The ethnic conflict has resulted in over 120 deaths, thousands of internal displacements, and the current residence of relief camps for the displaced.

Conflicts between the main Meitei population and the Kuki ethnic minority have existed in Manipur since May 3.

The protests by tribal organizations against the Meitei community’s desire for Scheduled Tribe designation turned violent afterward. At least 140 people have already died, several others have been hurt, and about 50,000 people have been forced to evacuate.

Censorship on Twitter

Due of the video, the Indian government is likely to take Twitter to court and has announced an investigation.

Social media networks have apparently also received warnings from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology over compliance with new IT regulations that uphold freedom of expression with “reasonable restrictions”.

The government has cautioned that it is against the law to distribute videos that “could lead to problems in law and order.” The IT ministry is utilizing a variety of platforms to prevent the further distribution of the video after an order was issued last night to take action against Twitter for non-compliance.

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