Two women paraded naked in Manipur by mob of men, allegedly gang raped

The survivor, who is in her 40s, told Scroll that she obliged with what the mob asked of them.
Manipur violence
Manipur violence
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A video of two women being paraded naked by a mob of men has emerged from Manipur. The visuals that have been shared by many show two women being made to walk on a street naked with the mob of men walking with them. The visuals also show the women being sexually assaulted during this time. It has now emerged that the dastardly incident took place on May 4. According to a report by the Print, one of the women were gang raped.

The incident happened in B Phainom village, in Kangpokpi district of Manipur. A Zero First Information Report (FIR) was filed by Saikul police in Kangpokpi district on May 18. A zero FIR can be filed in any station, and need not fall under the jurisdiction of where the crime happened. According to the FIR, charges of rape and murder were filed against “800 to 1000 unknown miscreants”. The FIR was forwarded to the Nangpok Sekmai police, however no arrests were made till now.

Scroll reached out to one of the survivors who said that her family tried to leave their village when they heard that the mob was burning homes in a nearby village. The survivor said that she and her family were trying to leave through a dirt lane but was apprehended by the mob. She alleged that her neighbour and her son were taken away and killed while the women were threatened to take their clothes off.

The survivor, who is in her 40s, told Scroll that she obliged with what the mob asked of them and “took off every item of her clothing” to protect herself. As she was taking her clothes off, men from the mob were allegedly slapping her. Another 21-year-old woman was also made to take her clothes off but the survivor who spoke to Scroll was unsure of what happened to her. According to Scroll, the survivor alleged that the men dragged her to a field and asked her to lie down there and she did as she was told. Three men surrounded her and told they would rape her but they did not. However, the survivor alleged that the men groped her.

The horrific crime was an act of “retribution.” An image of a woman wrapped in a plastic bag had gone viral earlier in May claiming that a Meitei woman had been 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.

Many have pointed out that the video went viral after two months probably because of the internet shutdown in Manipur.

After the video went viral, the Manipur police released a statement on July 19, Wednesday. The police said that the incident happened on May 4 2023 and a case of abduction, gangrape and murder was registered at Nongpok Segpei police station in Thoubal district. The statement by K Meghachandra Singh, Superintendent of police said the case was taken against unknown armed miscreants and the investigation has started. Though the incident happened 76 days before, the statement offered no explanation why no arrests have been made despite the faces of the perpetrators seen clearly in the video.

Reacting to the horrific incident, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi blamed Prime Minister Modi for his silence and inaction. “PM’s silence and inaction has led Manipur into anarchy. INDIA will not stay silent while the idea of India is being attacked in Manipur. We stand with the people of Manipur, Peace is the only way forward,” Rahul Gandhi tweeted. 

Union Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani, who was called out by several people, demanding a reaction from her, put out a statement on Twitter. She said she had spoken to the Manipur CM and the police would take stringent action. The Minister also offered no explanation on why no action had been taken for 76 days. 

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