Meira Paibis, a collective of Meitei women, on August 11 staged sit-in demonstrations across five districts of Imphal Valley in protest against the alleged gangrape of a 37-year-old woman in Churachandpur on May 3, when the ongoing ethnic violence started.
The survivor alleged she was gang-raped by a group of men while fleeing her burning house in Khumujamba Leikai in Churachandpur, police said.
An FIR was lodged with Bishnupur Women police station on August 9 and the matter was later forwarded to Churachandpur police station for investigation, they said.
In protest against the incident, Meira Paibis, which literally means women torch bearers, staged sit-in demonstrations in Keisampat, Uripok, and Singjamei areas in Imphal West district and Kongba and Khurai in Imphal East district.
Similar protests were also held in Bishnupur, Kakching, and Thoubal districts. Protester Th Sylvia said, "We vehemently condemn the gangrape of the woman by miscreants in Churachandpur. We demand the arrest of the culprits".
Chingakham Abemcha, another protester, alleged, "What happened in Imphal Valley on May 4 was retaliation to large-scale arson and burning in Churachandpur, Moreh, and Kangpokpi on the previous day".
The protest was called by Meira Paibi president Longjam Memchaubi against "unspeakable crimes against women, men, and women by armed militants and infiltrators from Myanmar".
A video purportedly showing two women from one of the warring communities being allegedly stripped naked and paraded by a few men from the other side in Imphal Valley on May 4 sparked nationwide outrage.
Ethnic violence broke out in the state on May 3 and has been continuing for the last three months, killing more than 160 people and leaving thousands homeless.
Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur's population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley. Tribals -- Nagas and Kukis -- constitute little over 40 per cent and reside in the hill districts.
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