Manipur video: Naga groups demand immediate justice for women paraded naked
Several Naga civil society organisations in Manipur, including the powerful United Naga Council, All Naga Students' Association Manipur (ANSAM) and Naga People's Front, have strongly condemned the inhuman act committed against the two women by a mob on May 4.
The UNC asked the Manipur government to take up the case in a fast-track court to deliver justice instantly.
"The government must initiate necessary steps for immediate booking of all the people involved in such dehumanizing crime," the UNC said in a statement.
Referring to the viral video clip, the UNC said the incident was extremely deplorable.
"The inhuman act meted out to the women who were stripped naked, groped and paraded in a broad daylight on the highway towards a paddy field is highly deplorable," the UNC said.
The UNC said the beastly act of sexually assaulting right on the nose of the law enforcing agency and unleashing a reign of terror has shattered the basic principles of democracy.
"The prestige and dignity of our mother, daughter and sister wrecked beyond redemption. Horrifying act and humiliation has replaced the beauty of womanhood. We can never allow the perpetrators involved in such a heinous crime to go scot-free," said the UNC in a statement.
Manipur's Nagas have by and large stayed aloof from the violence which has torn apart the tiny northeastern state.
However, this strong condemnation by a powerful Naga organisation indicates that they may wish to play a part in bringing peace back to the valley, said analysts.
Meanwhile, the ANSAM termed the incident as an obnoxious act' that has no place in the present society and called for all right-thinking citizens to condemn the horrendous episode that occurred in a broad daylight.
"It is very unfortunate that the state of Manipur is witnessing such a scandalous behaviour and the world will take a note of the brutal incident," stated the ANSAM.
The student body said the association denounces the barbaric act and urged the concerned authority to take necessary action and book all the perpetrators at the earliest. The student body said that befitting punishment should be awarded as per the law of the land.
Naga People's Front Manipur state unit also condemned the despicable and unpardonable act of violence committed against the two women which was in total obliteration to the age old tradition of paying highest respect to mothers and sisters.
Meanwhile, protest rallies were held in Churachandpur on Saturday condemning the stripping naked of two women whose video has gone viral and demanding a separate administration for the Kuki areas.
The demand for some kind of separate administration by Kukis has however been opposed by many sections of Manipur's polity.
An armed mob, nearly a thousand strong, had attacked a village in Kangpokpi district of Manipur and torched, looted houses, killed and raped wantonly before abducting two women whose forced naked parade caught on video outraged the entire nation.
The FIR filed in this case on June 21, a copy of which has been seen by PTI, revealed the tale of mayhem which occurred before the abduction and shameful behaviour with tribal women, a video of which has now formed the basis of raids and arrests of people connected with the incident.
The FIR claimed that one person was killed by the mob as he tried to protect his sister from being raped on May 4 before the two were paraded naked and molested in front of others.
"Around 900-1000 persons carrying sophisticated weapons like AK rifles, SLR, INSAS and .303 rifles forcefully entered our village (on May 4)... in Island subdivision, Kangpokpi district, about 68 km south from Saikul police station," it said.
More than 160 people have lost their lives, and several injured since ethnic violence broke out in the state on May 3, when a 'Tribal Solidarity March' was organised in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community's demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.
Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur's population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley, while tribals, which include Nagas and Kukis, constitute 40 per cent and reside mostly in the hill districts.