Two women in India stripped, paraded naked on street, video goes viral

Indian army soldiers patrol areas in Manipur. Image/Reuters

In a horrific incident reported from India, two women were stripped and paraded naked by a mob in the Indian state of Manipur. It is being alleged that one of them was gang-raped.

According to local media reports, the incident occurred 75 days ago in Kangpokpi district and came to light after a video went viral on social media. The women, one in her 20s and the other in her 40s, reportedly belong to the Kuki-Zo community of the state.

In the video, a mob can be seen dragging the women towards a field and groping them. They could be heard crying as the men parade them and groped their private parts.

According to the complaint filed by the women on May 18, one more woman was forced to remove her clothes by the bloodthirsty mob. The police registered a case of abduction, gang rape, and murder. However, the first arrest was made only after a video of the incident went viral on social media.

It further states that the younger woman’s father was killed on the spot. The woman’s brother was also killed when he tried to stop the assault, per a report by The Wire. The women eventually escaped and are currently living in relief camps.

The police have arrested one of the culprits with the help of the video. Meanwhile, 12 teams have been formed to arrest the accused.

Clashes between the majority Meitei community and the Kuki community in the state broke out on May 3. Since then, the violent conflict has displaced over 50,000 people and claimed over 100 lives.

The immediate trigger was an order passed by the Manipur High Court, wherein it directed the state to consider the Meitei community’s demand to be included in the Scheduled Tribe (ST) list within a month. However, it did not go down well with the Kuki and Naga groups, and they decided to hold protests against the move.

A protest rally organised under the aegis of the Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum at Churachandpur on May 3 turned violent and sparked clashes between Meitei and Kuki community members.

For the unversed, a Scheduled Tribe (ST) or Scheduled Caste (SC) status gives you certain benefits and reservations for historically marginalised communities in government jobs and higher education institutes. The reservation provision was included in India’s constitution as an affirmative action.

The incident involving the three women took place a day after the state erupted into flames. The federal and state governments have failed to contain the violence and implement the rule of law in the state.

The country’s Supreme Court has finally been forced to intervene. It has asked the government to take action and threatened to step in if “nothing is happening on the ground.”

“I think it’s time that the government really steps in and takes action because this is simply unacceptable. Using women as an instrument in an area of communal strife for inflicting gender violence is deeply, deeply, disturbing and simply unacceptable to the court,” read a statement for Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has finally broken his silence on the matter and has promised that strict action will be taken against the culprits and the victims will get justice.

It needs to be noted that this is the first time that India’s prime minister has issued a statement on the violence that has engulfed the states. The opposition parties, media, and human rights activists had been asking Modi to address the issue for more than 2 months, but it took a viral video and social media outrage to finally make him speak.

Meanwhile, the Indian government has ordered Twitter to remove the video of the women being paraded naked.

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