Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Friday said the people of the state consider “women as their mother” but the miscreants who attacked and stripped two tribal women naked in May, whose video has drawn nation-wide condemnation, has “tarnished the state’s reputation.”
The chief minister said protests were launched across the northeastern state to condemn the incident.
Singh was referring to the viral video that surfaced two days ago, in which two tribal women were seen being paraded naked and molested by a group of men. Four of them were arrested on Thursday.
“People of Manipur consider women their mother, but some miscreants have done this and tarnished our reputation. We have launched protests to condemn the incident across the state, both in valley areas and the hills,” he said.
Singh said that people are demanding that the culprits get the strictest punishment.
He had said on Thursday that he will ensure strict action is taken against all the perpetrators, including considering the possibility of capital punishment.
Manipur has been rocked by ethnic strife since early May.
More than 160 people have lost their lives, and several have been injured since ethnic violence broke out in the state on May 3, when a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.
Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur’s population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley, while tribals, which include Nagas and Kukis, constitute 40 per cent and reside mostly in the hill districts.