CSOs, others condemn sexual assault against Kuki women
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal/Ukhrul, July 20 2023: Individuals and organisations, with one voice, have condemned the atrocity meted out against two women who were seen paraded naked by a mob in a viral video and sought justice.BJP, Congress, Tangkhul Shanao Long (TSL), North-East Forum for International Solidarity (NEFIS), Rongmei Naga People's Organisation (RNPO), Meitei Leepun, Apunba Manipur Kanba Ima Lup (AMKIL), Federation of Civil Society Organisations (FOCS) and Naga Women's Union (NWU) among others joined the bandwagon in standing for women safety.

Apunba Manipur Kanba Ima Lup urged the Government to give stringent punishment to whoever is found guilty in parading the two Kuki women naked.

Addressing the media at Manipur Press Club today, AMKIL president Lourembam Nganbi said that stripping women and torturing them was an unpardonable offence.

Saying that AMKIL condemns the incident in the strongest term, Nganbi said that they take every crime against women be it against Kuki, Naga, Meitei or Meitei Pangal very seriously.

She said that the comment given by the Prime Minister on Manipur violence was late as the State has been burning for over two months.

The misdeeds and misgovernance of the BJP has put all Manipuris in a bad light, said the Congress party today.

Addressing the media at Congress Bhavan today, Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) vice president Loitongbam Tilotama said that Congress party strongly condemns the incident of parading two women naked by a mob.

This crime is a serious challenge to the entire women community, Tilotama said and demanded that all culprits must be penalised appropriately.

Claiming that the BJP was trying to conceal the incident of May 4, she asked why the Government didn't take up prompt action on time when the chief of B Phainom Village lodged a complaint to Sekmai police station on May 18 .

Meteis are known for treating women with utmost decency and respect but the lapses on the part of the BJP Government has projected all Meiteis in the wrong light, the MPCC leader added.

BJP Manipur
BJP State unit president A Sarda Devi, while condemning the incident during a press meet at Nityaipat Chuthek, said that the bestial character of the mob in the video shows the ugliness of crime against women. Women may not be able to see the other gender as brothers after this horrific incident, she added.

Urging the Government to reward maximum punishment to whoever found guilty, Sarda said that people mustn't encourage such dastardly acts of crime and prevent it from happening ever again.

The Government must take up befitting action to make sure such a disgusting incident doesn't recur again in Manipur, the State BJP chief demanded, adding that the BJP will extend all possible assistance to deliver justice.

Let's all stand together against such crime, irrespective of caste, creed or religion, she asserted and exuded confidence that the Government will surely take up necessary action.

The Naga Women's Union (NWU), the apex women body of the Nagas in Manipur, has also come out strongly against the incident where some Meitei volunteers stripped two Kuki-Zo women naked and paraded them naked.

In a condemnation note, the NWU said that the Union is utterly anguished to see two Kuki Zo women inhumanly treated by a large mob in the cruelest manner on May 4 .

Saying that the incident is beyond what a human eye could endure and a heart could bear, the NWO termed the incident as a total dishonour of the all women community.

It is disheartening to see that women are still treated like an object/toy even today, the Union said and added that every right thinking person must condemn such a sickening act.

Reacting sharply to the viral video, the Tangkhul Shanao Long (TSL) has said that rapists should never be allowed to go scot-free.

TSL vehemently condemns the heinous crime committed against 'innocent tribal women' and is aghast to learn about the two helpless women from Vaiphei ethnicity being paraded naked and tortured by a mob on May 4, it added.

In a statement, TSL said that they are short of words to express their distress and how people can stoop so low beyond human decency.

"We cannot imagine a society that does not respect human dignity, a society that nurtures the rapist of a sister, a mother and a daughter," TSL continued and asked whether any decent society tolerates such cruelty and inhumanly action committed against innocent women ? .

TSL further asked why the Government remains a mute spectator to the violence, where gross violation of human rights are committed everyday.

"A rapist cannot go scot-free, we demand befitting justice to the end," it added.

Meitei Leepun
The Meitei Leepun said that the viral video of May 4 incident has lowered 'our heads' with shame in front of the world.

In a statement, the Meitei Leepun continued that women are regarded as symbols of sanctity and revered with highest honour in Manipur.

Saying that they condemn the act of parading two women naked in public, it added that they are now even ashamed to 'claim ourself' as the proud sons of brave Imas.

The incident is against the present mass struggle and cause to safeguard the integrity of Manipur, it added.

The Rongmei Naga People's Organisation (RNPO), on the other hand, said that the viral video has shocked the conscience of the entire Nation and warrants strong action.

Expressing outrage over the 'reprehensible' act committed against the two innocent women, RNPO, in a statement, said that the mob parading the two women naked can only be described as a heinous display of disregard for human, dignity, privacy and fundamental rights and also an affront to the principles of justice, humanity and equality.

RNPO firmly stands for the protection of every individual's right to life, liberty and security, it said and asserted that no individual should be subjected to such abhorrent treatment.

The Organisation urged the authorities concerned to take swift and decisive actions against those who perpetrated the heinous crime.

It also urged the law enforcement agencies and the judicial system in Manipur to conduct a thorough investigation to identify the culprits and bring them to justice.

The Federation of Civil Society Organisations (FOCS) termed the incident as disgusting, immoral and sorrowful.

The FOCS, while condemning the excesses of the mob, said that basic human rights must be respected even at the time of conflict.

"We, as humans, should protect women and children even if there is war," FOCS said and added that such a disgraceful act will only defame the entire Meetei society in front of the world.

The Organisation appealed to the Government to book all the miscreants.

The North-East Forum for International Solidarity (NEFIS) has asked Chief Minister N Biren Singh to take moral responsibility and resign 'as he couldn't ensure the safety of women in Manipur' .

The NEFIS, in a statement, said their activists staged a protest demonstration at Manipur Bhawan against the heart-wrenching incident of 'gangrape and murder' in Manipur.

Saying that the Forum condemns the incident in the strongest terms, NEFIS demanded the resignation of the Chief Minister.

The Forum further said that this heinous incident has shaken and shamed the entire country.

Claiming that it is the women who have been chiefly targeted by chauvinist elements during the present crisis in Manipur, the Forum alleged that violence against women has been instrumentalised by miscreants.

"A vicious, never-ending cycle of vengeful violence continues in the State with the continued failure of the State Government to act against such miscreants," it added.

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