As per a statement issued by the Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF), the incident occurred on May 4 in Kangpokpi district, which is situated around 35 km away from the state capital, Imphal.
Tension escalated in the hills of Manipur as a video emerged on Wednesday, showing two women from one of the warring communities being paraded naked by a group of men from the Meitei community. The victims reportedly endured gang rape in a nearby field.
The disturbing video depicts two women being forcibly stripped naked and dragged to a paddy field by a mob. Throughout the harrowing ordeal, the victims can be heard crying out for help.
The Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF), which strongly condemned the incident, stated that the women belonged to the Kuki-Zo tribe, while the mob responsible for their assault were Meiteis.
In response to the incident, the ITLF has urged the National Commission for Women and the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes to promptly intervene and take appropriate action.
Meanwhile, Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh expressed his deep concern over the situation. He announced that the government had taken suo moto cognizance of the distressing video and initiated a thorough investigation. The Manipur Police made their first arrest in connection with the incident on the morning after the video surfaced. The Chief Minister assured that strict action would be taken against all the culprits involved, including considering the possibility of capital punishment. He emphasized that such heinous acts have no place in society.
On Twitter, the Manipur police issued a statement addressing the viral video that depicted two women being paraded naked by unknown armed miscreants on May 4, 2023. They promptly registered a case at Nongpok Sekmai Police Station (Thoubal District) against the unidentified armed miscreants, charging them with abduction, gangrape, and murder. An investigation into the matter has been initiated, and the State Police are exerting all efforts to swiftly apprehend the culprits responsible.
The Working Group for Naga Rights in Manipur strongly condemned the heinous incident and expressed deep shock at the unimaginable cruelty exhibited by the unhinged Meitei mob. They revealed that the victims, two defenseless Vaiphei women of the Kuki-Zo ethnicity, were subjected to humiliation, public exposure, groping, and ultimately gang-rape on the mentioned date.
The group called on the state authorities to spare no efforts in identifying the perpetrators and ensuring they face the severest punishment in accordance with the relevant laws of the land. They emphasized that the current administration cannot employ “conflict” as an excuse to ignore or overlook this barbaric act. Humanity demands a prompt and fitting response to this appalling atrocity orchestrated by the mob.