Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi broke his silence over deadly ethnic clashes in Manipur, India’s northeast. It took two months for the Prime Minister to break his silence on the matter. Only responding after a disturbing video of two minority women being paraded naked and attacked by a mob spread on social media.
The video, which went viral late Wednesday, depicts the horrific assault on the two women, despite internet blockades and media restrictions in the remote state. Scores of young men surround the victims, groping them and dragging them to a field. The brutal footage triggered a massive public outcry, demanding immediate action and justice for the victims.
Speaking to reporters ahead of a parliamentary session, Prime Minister Modi finally addressed the issue in Manipur. Condemning the assaults and vowing that the guilty would not be spared. He expressed deep pain and anger over the incident. Stating that what happened to the daughters of Manipur was unforgivable. He also urged state government leaders to prioritize the safety of women, calling the incident “shameful for any civilized nation.”
The Central Government Asked the Companies to Remove the Video from Media Platforms
India’s Supreme Court also expressed grave concern over the assault, demanding that the government inform the court about the actions taken to apprehend the accused. Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud emphasized that such actions were unacceptable in a constitutional democracy, and the court would intervene if necessary.
The two victims, belonging to the Kuki-Zo community, are currently safe in a refugee camp, according to a statement from the Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum, a tribal organization in Manipur.
India’s Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani condemned the incident as “condemnable and downright inhuman.” Assuring that investigations were underway, and no effort would be spared to bring the perpetrators to justice.
However, the ruling Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) faced severe criticism from the main opposition Congress party president Mallikarjun Kharge. Kharge accused the BJP of turning democracy and the rule of law into mobocracy. He called for PM Modi to address the issue in Parliament. A demand echoed by other opposition parties and activists.
The international community has also voiced concern. The European Parliament adopted a resolution last week urging Indian authorities to take action to stop the violence in Manipur and protect religious minorities, particularly Christians. In response, India’s foreign ministry labelled the resolution as “interference” in its internal affairs.