In what Amnesty International has described as a means “to inflict lasting physical and psychological damage on women and girls during ethnic violence”, a video has surfaced showing two Christian women belonging to the Kuki tribe paraded naked by a mob of Hindu majority Meitei tribe in Manipur state of India.
The atrocious incident of the two women being disrobed and paraded naked on the village road came into focus, last day, after a video surfaced on the internet.
The incident shows, an Indian web portal reported, how less we know about the extent and the scale of the conflict in Manipur that claimed over 150 lives so far. People who were eyewitness to the incident express that ‘the state nor the central government have the intent or the skills to handle the situation’ and ‘you tend to lose hope…’
“When we resisted, they told me: ‘If you don’t take off your clothes, we will kill you’,” a survivor, who is in her mid forties told Scroll. Then as obeyed them to “protect herself”, the men slapped and punched her.
The woman from the Christian (Kuki) community said assault took place near her village, B Phainom, in Kangpokpi district on May 4, a day after clashes erupted between the two ethnic groups.
Speaking on the horrific incident, the survivor said after hearing about Meitei mobs “burning homes” in a nearby village, her family and others fled through a dirt lane but were discovered. A neighbor and his son were killed nearby, and the mob assaulted the women, forcing them to strip.
She added that the men dragged to a paddy field near the road and asked her to “lie down” there. “I did as they told me, and three men surrounded me… One of them told the other, ‘let’s rape her’, but she was ‘lucky enough to escape’.
She, however, she was not aware of what was happening to her 21-year-old neighbour, because she was some distance away.
The incident prompted Amnesty International to express ‘shock’ saying “a video emerging out of Manipur showing a mob of Meitei men assaulting and parading two tribal Kuki women naked to gang-rape them is a shocking reminder of the scale and severity of the ongoing impunity in the state”.
“Rape and sexual violence have been used to inflict lasting physical and psychological damage on women and girls during ethnic violence. This brutal treatment is aimed at degrading and dehumanizing the tribal Kuki community,” the Amnesty said.
“All allegations of sexual violence must be effectively, independently, and impartially investigated to ensure survivors receive justice and reparation. In addition, Amnesty International reiterated that Indian authorities must immediately restore internet access in Manipur.
Disclaimer: Two Christian women paraded naked by Hindu majority tribe in Manipur - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Latheefarook.com point-of-view