Prime Minister Modi speaks out on Manipur ethnic violence


In response to a shocking viral video that exposed a mob molesting two women in Manipur state, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has finally broken his more than two months of silence regarding the deadly ethnic clashes in the region. The video, which emerged despite internet restrictions and media blackout in the area, has triggered massive outrage.

The video shows two women, naked and surrounded by a group of young men, who subjected them to sexual assault while parading them in a field. The incident is part of the ongoing ethnic violence in Manipur, which has seen over 130 deaths since May. The conflict was ignited by an affirmative action dispute, with Christian Kukis protesting against the demands of the mostly Hindu Meiteis for special land-buying privileges and government job allocations.

Prime Minister Modi condemned the horrific incident, stating that the perpetrators would not escape justice. He expressed his anguish and anger, urging state governments to prioritize the safety and protection of women. Modi emphasized that such acts were a disgrace to any civilized nation.

The violence in Manipur has been compared to a near-civil war, with villages being attacked, people killed, and houses set on fire by rampaging mobs. Despite the presence of the army, clashes between the two ethnic factions persist, and armed militias have emerged. Tens of thousands of people have been forced to seek refuge in overcrowded relief camps.

The incident involving the two women occurred on May 4, a day after the violence erupted in the state. A police complaint, filed on May 18, detailed the attack on their family, alleging rape and murder by “unknown miscreants.” Manipur’s Chief Minister, Biren Singh, confirmed the first arrest in connection with the case.

The Chief Minister assured the public that a thorough investigation is underway and promised strict action against all those involved. He even mentioned the possibility of capital punishment for the perpetrators, stressing that such heinous acts have no place in society.

India’s Supreme Court also expressed deep concern about the incident and requested the government to provide updates on the actions taken to apprehend the accused. Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud warned that if the government failed to act, the court would intervene.

The two women from the Kuki-Zo community are currently safe in a refugee camp, according to the Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum in Manipur. India’s Women and Child Development Minister, Smriti Irani, condemned the act as “condemnable and downright inhuman” and assured the public that no effort would be spared in bringing the perpetrators to justice.

However, the opposition Congress party’s president, Mallikarjun Kharge, accused the ruling Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party of promoting “mobocracy” and demanded that Modi address the Manipur issue in Parliament.

Last week, the European Parliament passed a resolution urging Indian authorities to take action to end the violence in Manipur and protect religious minorities, particularly Christians. India’s foreign ministry criticized the resolution, labeling it as an interference in its internal affairs.

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