Updated: Jul 23
A video capturing the harrowing incident of two women being paraded naked by a mob in Manipur, a north-eastern state hit by violent ethnic clashes, has ignited outrage across India.
The police have responded swiftly, opening a case of gang rape and apprehending one suspect, with assurances that others involved will be held accountable.
The distressing video, which emerged on social media platforms this week, caught the attention of parliament, leading to disruptions in the session as lawmakers demanded a debate on the issue. Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned the incident, stating that it has "shamed India," and vowed that no guilty parties would escape justice. His statement came after more than two months since the outbreak of violence in Manipur.
Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud expressed grave concern over the assault, emphasising that the footage deeply disturbed the Supreme Court. He urged the government to inform the court about the actions being taken against the perpetrators, warning of judicial intervention if necessary.
Manipur has been embroiled in deadly clashes between the majority Meitei and Kuki tribal communities, leading to widespread unrest and complete segregation between the groups. The violent clashes have resulted in the deaths of at least 130 people and the displacement of 60,000 individuals.
The two women targeted in the video are members of the Kuki community and were assaulted by men from the Meitei group. Although the incident occurred on 4th May, it gained national attention after the video began circulating on social media.
As the nation grapples with the shocking video, the federal government has urged social media companies to remove the disturbing footage from their platforms. The Indigenous Tribal Leaders' Forum (ITLF) issued a statement condemning the atrocities, revealing that the assault took place in a village in Kangpokpi district and alleged that the women had also been gang-raped. The incident has sparked a wave of anger and calls for justice across the country.