India and Women Paraded Naked in Manipur
Kanako Mita, Sawako Utsumi, and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
Ethnic tensions in Northeast India are mainly kept from the outside world. Accordingly, the government of India – similar to Indonesia in West Papua (indigenous Christian Papuans face Islamization and Javanization) and Bangladesh (indigenous Buddhists face Islamization and Bengalization) in the Chittagong Hill Tracts – clamps down on international and internal sources from spreading information.
However, a viral video of an earlier brutal incident showing two women paraded naked by men is sparking outrage – after social media and other avenues showed this incident in Manipur.
The BBC reports, “The Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF) said in a statement that the atrocities had been committed in a village in Kangpokpi district against women from the Kuki-Zo tribal community. It also alleged that the women had been gang raped.”
ITLF said: “The gang rape of the women happened after the village was burnt down and two men – one middle-aged and another a teenager – were beaten to death by the mob.”
The disturbing video shows two Kuki women begging for humanity to prevail. However, after both women were gang raped (according to various sources) – they were paraded naked, mocked, and humiliated to an extreme.
Priyanka Gandhi Vadhra (Congress Party) said: “Images of sexual violence against women from Manipur are heart-wrenching.”
Kuki tribals in early May protested against the prospect of the Meitei being deemed a “Scheduled Tribe.”
The “Scheduled Tribe” status of the mainly Christian Kuki and other Christian tribals gives certain privileged land-owning rights in the hill areas and surrounding environs. Accordingly, the fear is that Meitei Hindu power concentration in Imphal will further increase if they are also deemed a “Scheduled Tribe.”
The Independent reports, “…the state has been effectively torn in two, with more than 140 people killed and over 40,000 displaced as both communities engaged in attacks on each other’s residences and vehicles, burning down churches and temples.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi – mainly silent on the crisis in Manipur – said, “I assure the nation, the law will take its course with all its might. What happened with the daughters of Manipur can never be forgiven.”
The central government of India needs to step up its protection of all citizens of Manipur by enforcing that the security forces are even-handed – and that the justice system protects all irrespective of ethnicity, gender, or religion.
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