According to news reports on Thursday, the Union home ministry has chosen to transfer the case of sexual assault on two women who were stripped and displayed by a mob to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The administration will also submit an affidavit to the Supreme Court asking that the trial in the viral video case be held outside of Manipur’s troubled state. In Manipu, members of the non-profit organisation Purple Foundation organised a silent protest against violence against women.
Three weeks after the incident, on July 19, a video showing three women being paraded in Manipur while they were naked appeared. This sparked further tensions in the state and caused problems during the monsoon session of Parliament.
The First Information Report (FIR) submitted in the case states that one of the three women of a family was gang raped while a mob of 800-1000 men killed her brother and father on May 4.
According to ANI, which cited sources with knowledge of the situation, the cell phone used to record the video has been found, and the person responsible for shooting it has been taken into custody. The article further claims that in an effort to bring about a return to normalcy in the state, representatives of the warring Kuki and Meitei communities met with the home ministry on many times.
The first ethnic conflicts occurred on May 3 as a result of a protest march organised by members of the Kuki community against a Manipur high court judgement recommending that the Meiteis, the majority community in Manipur with 53% of the population, be added to the scheduled tribal list. Over 160 people have died as a result of the nearly three-month-long ethnic violence in Manipur.
Following more than two months of public silence on deadly ethnic violence, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared that the sexual attacks of the two ladies were intolerable when the sexual assault video went viral. But he avoided making a direct reference to the more severe violence. The opposition coalition led by the Congress has been calling for the prime minister to address the Manipur issue in Parliament, followed by a debate in both Houses.
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