The National Commission for Women (NCW) received a complaint about incidents of sexual violence against women in Manipur back in June, well over a month before the shocking video of two women being paraded naked surfaced. The complaint, dated June 12, cited three cases of sexual assault, including the video of the horrifying incident that has sparked outrage across the nation.
The complaint, filed by two activists and the North American Manipur Tribal Association, appealed to the NCW to address and condemn the sexual violence inflicted upon Kuki-Zomi tribal women by Meitei vigilantes amid the ongoing ethnic conflict and humanitarian crisis in Manipur.
However, despite the gravity of the situation, the women's panel allegedly did not respond to the complaint, leaving the survivors of sexual violence without any support or action.
Meanwhile, NCW Chairperson, Rekha Sharma asserts, "We are in contact with the officials from Manipur, and we have received not just one, but many complaints, including some from individuals residing outside India and Manipur. Our initial step was to verify the accuracy of the information presented in the complaints. It is crucial for the Manipur Government to provide clarity on the matter, and if the allegations are found to be true, they must take necessary actions to address the situation. Accordingly, we have communicated with them regarding the concerns raised."
The situation escalated further after the distressing video, recorded on May 4, came to light on July 19. The video depicted two women from the Kuki community being humiliated and paraded naked by a group of men. Tragically, one of the women was reportedly gang-raped during the ordeal. Shockingly, there was no immediate action taken on the case for over 70 days.
Following widespread public outrage, four men have been arrested in connection with the incident, including the main accused. The viral video, which captured him wearing a green T-shirt, played a crucial role in his identification and arrest. In the wake of the incident, his house was also burnt down by an enraged mob.
The ethnic violence that erupted in Manipur on May 3, triggered by a 'Tribal Solidarity March' in the hill districts protesting the Meitei community's demand for Scheduled Tribe status, has resulted in over 150 fatalities and numerous injuries.
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