US condemns ‘brutal’ sexual assault video from Indian Manipur | Sexual assault news

Adeyemi Adeyemi
Adeyemi Adeyemi

Global Courant

The US State Department says it is deeply concerned by reports of a viral video of two women parading naked in the northeastern state.

The United States is deeply concerned by reports of a viral video showing two women parading naked in the northeastern Indian state of Manipur, a sexual assault case that has enraged the country.

The attack, in which a gang allegedly raped and paraded the tribal women naked, came more than two months ago after ethnic clashes between two communities broke out in the remote state.

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But the attack received national and global attention after the video went viral on social media last week, prompting Prime Minister Narendra Modi to break his public silence over the violence in Manipur.

Protesters with black clothes over their mouths shout slogans during a protest in Chennai over sexual violence against women in Manipur (R Satish Babu/AFP)

Police made some arrests after Modi in a 30-second speech outside parliament on Thursday condemned the attack as “shameful” and promised tough measures.

Manipur is governed by Modi’s right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

A US State Department spokesman called the incident in Manipur “brutal” and “appalling” and said the US expressed its condolences to the victims.

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The US encouraged a peaceful and inclusive solution to the violence in Manipur and urged authorities to respond to humanitarian needs while protecting all groups, homes and places of worship, the State Department spokesman said.

The assault was reported in May by the victims – aged 21 and 42 – during intense ethnic clashes between the Kuki-Zo tribe, who are mainly Christian, and the mainly Hindu Meiteis over possible changes in economic benefits for the Kuki-Zo and other tribal groups in Manipur.

Special status under the Scheduled Tribe category would allow the majority of Meiteis to purchase land in the hills populated by the Kuki-Zo and other tribal groups, as well as a guaranteed share of government jobs.

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New Delhi rushed to the state of 3.2 million people with thousands of paramilitaries and army troops to quell the violence. But sporadic riots and killings continue and the state has been tense since early May.

At least 130 people have been killed and more than 50,000 have fled their homes since violence erupted in Manipur on May 3.

Thousands of people, mostly women, staged a major sit-in on Saturday in Manipur’s Churachandpur, a town 65 km (40 miles) south of the capital Imphal, to demand the immediate arrest of anyone who took part in the harrowing attack by two women on May 4.

Leaders of religious and women’s groups addressed the nearly 15,000 protesters, who also called for the resignation of BJP Chief Minister N Biren Singh.

Protesters gathered at a “Wall of Remembrance” site in an open area in Churachandpur, a stronghold of the Kuki-Zo tribe, where they kept dummy coffins of people from their minority community who died in the violence.

Ngaineikim, the president of the Kuki Women’s Organization for Human Rights, accused Singh, who is a Meiti, of orchestrating atrocities and expressing sympathy for the victims.

Nearly 400 men and women also staged a protest in the Indian capital New Delhi, making similar demands. They carried placards reading “We demand action against the perpetrators” and “Resign, Biren Singh”.

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US condemns ‘brutal’ sexual assault video from Indian Manipur | Sexual assault news

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