US Expresses Concern on Manipur Sexual Assault Video

24 July, 2023 | Poorti Buttan

Manipur National

Previously, PM Modi described the Incident of Manipur Horror to be a shameful incident for any civilized society and also added that it is an insult to the entire nation.

The United States expressed concern over the viral videos showing two women paraded naked and sexually assaulted in India’s northeastern state of Manipur. The incident sparked outrage and enraged the nation. Word of the incident took longer than two months to get out, only because the internet had been shut off in the area.

The incident gained attention on a national and international level as the video went viral on social media. The Indian government’s response to ethnic clashes in the northeastern state of Manipur has led to a conflict that has left over 130 people dead and over 35,000 displaced. The video went viral on Wednesday, July 19, instilling tensions and bringing renewed attention to the conflict.

Reportedly, a US State Department official described the event as “brutal” and “terrible” and stated the country had expressed its sympathy to the victims.

Previously, Eric Garcetti, the US ambassador to India, had stated that the US would assist India in dealing with the violence if asked. Eric exclaimed, “When you inquire about the US’s worries, I don’t believe they are strategic worries. I believe it has to do with human concern… You don’t have to be Indian to care when children and people are killed in the kind of violence that we saw and we are aware that peace sets the stage for a lot of other positive outcomes.” He also added that the northeast and east of this country have seen numerous positive developments, but they cannot continue in the absence of peace.

PM Modi made his first public statement about the situation on July 20 as video shook the nation

Prime Minister Modi described the Incident of Manipur Horror to be a shameful incident for any civilized society and also added that it is an insult to the entire nation.
Many ministers have asked the PM to address the situation and offer solutions to ease tensions. Ministers have also demanded to raise the issue of Manipur Violence in the Parliament Monsoon Session.

Investigations are underway by Manipur Police, several arrests made

The Manipur Police stated that they were looking into a “case of abduction, gang rape, and murder” and had tightened curfews in six different areas of the state. On May 4, just as the state’s confrontations were beginning, the incident took place in district of Kangpokpi.

A group of males are seen dragging two naked women in the video. One of the women is seen getting slapped by a man while another man and he sexually abused her. As several men took them into a field with sticks in tow, the women were sobbing and attempting to hide themselves.

Situation remains tense in the state of Manipur as video of Sexual Assault went viral

The lawsuit claims that the mob included hundreds of Meitei people, a minority group in Manipur whereas the victims were members of the Kukis, a group of hill tribes. Early in May, when a student-led group, primarily made up of Kukis, protested a court decision in favor of the Meiteis, who had been granted a special status that would enable them to purchase land in the hills and ensure an allocation of government employment, tensions between the two groups reached a breaking point.

Following armed confrontations, police armouries were looted. More than 50 persons died in less than two days. The Kukis have demanded that the chief minister of the state, N Biren Singh steps down for peace talks to move forward.

This month, shortly after PM Modi arrived in France for an official visit, the European Parliament also passed a robust statement denouncing the violence in Manipur.