FIR details the horrors three Manipuri women were subjected to, no arrests yet

A woman was gangraped and two other women from Kuki community were subjected to sexual assault and torture.
Manipur violence against three women
Manipur violence against three women
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The First Information Report in the gangrape of a 21-year-old woman and the sexual violence against two other women in Manipur reveals shocking details of what transpired on May 4. According to the FIR, around 800-1000 people carrying sophisticated weapons like AK Rifles, SLR, INSAS, and .303 rifles entered B Phainom village in Kangpokpi district on May 4, a day after ethnic clashes broke out between the Meitei and Kuki communities. The violent mob began looting and burning the village and then captured five residents of the village – two men and three women – who were fleeing the village as the Meitei mobs went on a rampage. The victims were a man aged 56, his 19-year-old son, 21-year-old daughter; and two other women aged 42 and 52. 

The mob immediately killed the 56-year-old, and all the three women were forced to remove their clothes. The 21-year-old woman was gangraped. Her 19-year-old brother who resisted the sexual violence against his sister was killed on the spot, said the police First Information Report. 

One of the survivors who spoke to Scroll recalled that they tried fleeing the village after learning that the Meitei mobs were attacking the neighbouring village. As per the police complaint, the victims were rescued by the police as they attempted to run into the forest for hiding. Though they were rescued by the police, the violent mob forcibly seized them from the police custody. A report by the Indian Express said that they had fled to the forest after the men carrying rifles entered their village.

“When we resisted, they told me: ‘if you don’t take off your clothes, we will kill you,” one of the survivors told Scroll. The women were physically assaulted, she said, adding that she was aware of the gangrape of the 21-year-old.

Though a zero First Information Report was registered on May 18 at the Saikul police station, the police are yet to arrest the culprits. The FIR included charges of abduction, gangrape and murder against “unknown armed miscreants.” 

The horrific crime was an act of “retribution.” An image of a woman wrapped in a plastic bag went viral, claiming that a Meitei woman was raped and killed by Kuki men in Churachandpur on May 3 when the ethnic violence broke out. The news later turned out to be false but the damage it caused had a colossal impact.   

A survivor of the incident told The Print that as the men assaulted them they screamed,  “We will do to you what your men did to our women.” 

“It was all because of fake news. The men were saying ‘this is revenge for the Churachandpur case.’ The woman said that the men were in an inebriated condition.

After massive outrage over the video, the state police in its press statement said, “The State Police is making an all-out effort to arrest the culprits at the earliest.”

They said that the situation in the state during the last 24 hours “is peaceful but tense in some places with sporadic incidents of firing and gathering of crowd at different places.” A total of 126 checkpoints have been installed in different Districts of Manipur ( both in the hill and the valley), and that they detained 452 persons in connection with violations in different districts of Manipur, they said.

However, many pointed out that the police reacted to the incident only after the video surfaced two months later. Journalists and activists sought the intervention of the Supreme Court to take suo motu cognisance of the law and order situation in Manipur, which has been witnessing violence since May 3, following the controversial attempt of the Hindu Meitei community to seek inclusion in Scheduled Tribes category.

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