Disclaimer: This article contains details and visuals of molestation, rape and violence that are disturbing. Viewer discretion advised.
At the beginning of May 2023, massive clashes erupted in Manipur between the predominant ethnic group (Meitei) and the tribals (Naga and Kuki). The clash was ignited after the Manipur High Court directed the state government to include the Meiteis in the Scheduled Tribes (ST) category.
On May 4, a horrifying incident took place. Two Kuki women were stripped naked, physically assaulted, molested and paraded by a mob of men in Manipur. The men allegedly belonged to the Meitei group. One woman was 21 years old and the other was in her 40s. A video of the incident went viral on Twitter on Wednesday, July 19, two months after the incident took place.
— IndiaToday (@IndiaToday) July 20, 2023
The victim who was in her 40s opened up about the incident to Scroll and revealed that the Meitei mob were at a nearby village “burning homes”. When she and her family tried to escape, the mob caught them and began assaulting them. The women were then asked to strip naked. When they resisted, the men said, “If you don’t take off your clothes, we will kill you.”
The women then stripped “every item of clothing” to “protect” themselves. The men slapped and punched them, molested them and paraded them to a nearby field. The 40-year-old woman was asked to lie down on the ground. When she did, three men surrounded her and one of them told the others to rape her. But they eventually didn’t.
The 21-year-old, on the other hand, was “brutally gang raped in broad daylight” on the field by the men, reported Indian Express.
According to The Hindu, the Manipur police arrested one of the main masterminds behind the women’s assault, who was also seen in the video, on July 20.
The video of the women has caused a nationwide uproar with innumerable people condemning the incident and raising concerns about women’s safety and the government’s lack of action. After all, it took two months for the authorities to take action, only after the video sparked social media outrage.
Shaken, disgusted to see the video of violence against women in Manipur. I hope the culprits get such a harsh punishment that no one ever thinks of doing a horrifying thing like this again.
— Akshay Kumar (@akshaykumar) July 20, 2023
Just saw a shocking video of 2 kuki women being paraded naked in #Manipur allegedly by men of Metei community who later sexually assaulted them
— Deepika Narayan Bhardwaj (@DeepikaBhardwaj) July 19, 2023
Just saw horrific #Manipur rape video, two women from the Kuki community, paraded naked on camera , the incident took place on 4th May but the video brings home the unspeakable horror of what has happened . It is unbearable to watch. The police has vowed to catch the rapists
— barkha dutt (@BDUTT) July 19, 2023
Deeply disturbed with the visuals of the atrocities against the women in Manipur… I am seething with anger… no man should go unpunished for such crime. Attack on the dignity of a woman is an attack on humanity itself.
— Riteish Deshmukh (@Riteishd) July 20, 2023
The horrific video of women being paraded naked and sexually assaulted in Manipur some months ago is one more confirmation of how unspeakably shocking the ongoing tragedy in that state is (and has been for nearly three months). Parliament must debate the situation today & the…
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) July 20, 2023
Why did it take two months to act against these criminals in Manipur? Only after uproar on social media and across the country yesterday after video went viral. Why was your administration and Police blind till now towards the two women survivors of horrific brutality? https://t.co/zRIwjIhNbW
— Aditya Raj Kaul (@AdityaRajKaul) July 20, 2023
Shocked,shaken,horrified at #manipur video n fact that it’s happened in May with no action on it. Shame on those sitting on their high horses drunk with power,jokers in media boot licking them,celebrities who r silent. When did we reach here dear Bharatiyas/Indians?
— Urmila Matondkar (@UrmilaMatondkar) July 20, 2023
The most disturbing aspect of Manipur is the weaponisation of women. They’re not being used as human shields which implies reluctance on part of the shield. What we’re seeing is women actively & voluntarily come out, in large numbers, to actively block security forces from…
— Abhijit Iyer-Mitra (@Iyervval) July 20, 2023
The video of violence against women in Manipur is horrifying and has shaken me to the core. I pray the women get justice at the earliest. Those responsible must face the most SEVERE punishment they deserve.
— Kiara Advani (@advani_kiara) July 20, 2023
We hope that speedy and appropriate action is taken in this case. What an absolute shame!