Manipur Violence: Two Women Paraded Naked, Allegedly Raped

In the heart-wrenching incident that unfolded in Manipur. India, two women were subjected to unimaginable cruelty, paraded naked, and allegedly raped. This incident has sent shockwaves across the nation, and it is our responsibility as a society to stand together, seek justice, and work towards ensuring such heinous acts are never repeated. As we delve into the details of this tragic event, we are reminded of the importance of compassion, empathy, and the urgent need for change.

Manipur, a picturesque hilly state in northeast India, lies to the east of Bangladesh and shares its borders with Myanmar. Home to an estimated 3.3 million people, the state boasts a diverse population comprising predominantly the Meitei people, who speak the Meitei language. Alongside them, the region accommodates various other ethnic and linguistic groups such as the Naga and Kuki peoples.

Where is Manipur and who lives there?

The hilly north-east Indian state sits east of Bangladesh and borders Myanmar. It is home to an estimated 3.3 million people. The state is predominantly inhabited by the Meitei people, who speak the Meitei language. The area is also home to a variety of other ethnic and linguistic groups, including the Naga and Kuki peoples.


More than half are Meiteis, while around 43% are Kukis and Nagas, the predominant minority tribes.

What is happening in Manipur?

Violence that began in May has claimed the lives of at least 130 people and left 400 others wounded. The army, paramilitary force and police are striving to quell the violence. But it has already forced more than 60,000 people from their homes.


Police armouries have been looted, hundreds of churches and more than a dozen temples ruined, and villages destroyed.

How did it start?

Kukis began protesting against demands from the Meiteis to be granted official tribal status, which the Kukis argued would strengthen their already strong influence on government and society, allowing them to buy land or settle in predominantly Kuki areas. This led to tensions boiling over.

But there are a myriad of underlying reasons. The Kukis say a war on drugs waged by the Meitei-led government is a screen to uproot their communities.

Illegal migration from Myanmar has heightened tensions. There is pressure on land use from a growing population and unemployment has pushed youth towards the various militias.

Who is fighting whom?

For decades, the Meitei, Kuki, and Naga militias have been fighting one another over conflicting homeland demands and religious differences, and they have all clashed with India’s security forces. However, the latest flare-up is almost entirely between the Meitei and the Kuki.

“This time, the conflict is strictly rooted in ethnicity, not religion,” says Dhiren A Sadokpam, editor of The Frontier Manipur.

Who are the Kuki and Meitei?

The Meitei have roots in Manipur, Myanmar and the surrounding areas. The vast majority are Hindu although some follow the Sanamahi religion. The Kukis, mostly Christians, have spread across the north-east of India, and many of those in Manipur can trace their roots back to Myanmar too.

Meiteis mostly live in the Imphal valley, while the Kukis live in the surrounding hills and beyond.

Why are women being attacked and humiliated?

The BBC’s Geeta Pandey in Delhi says the video is the latest example of rape and sexual assault being used as instruments of violence in conflict, which can often worsen into a spiral of revenge attacks.

According to local media, the attack in May came after fake reports that a Meitei woman had been raped by Kuki militiamen. This unleashed “a new, deadly cycle of reprisal violence on Kuki tribal women allegedly perpetrated by Meitei mobs”.

What is the central government doing?

Up until the video of the 4th May attack emerged this week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had remained silent on the violence in Manipur. He stated that the incident had “shamed India” and asserted that “no guilty will be spared… what happened with the daughters of Manipur can never be forgiven”.

But many Indians are asking why it has taken so long for him to comment publicly on Manipur.


The Indian government has deployed 40,000 soldiers, paramilitary troops and police to the region in an attempt to stem the latest round of violence. So far, it has resisted calls from tribal leaders to impose direct rule.

But violence continues to spread and forces more villagers out of their homes.

Who runs Manipur?

Mr Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party, which governs India, also runs the state government in Manipur, led by N Biren Singh, a Meitei.


The Meitei also control 40 of the regional parliament’s 60 seats despite totalling 53% of the population. The Kukis say that Mr Singh’s recent war on the cultivation of poppy for the heroin trade targeted Kuki areas.

Mr Singh’s government accused Kuki insurgent groups of inciting the community.


Manipur, a state rich in diversity, faces immense challenges due to ethnic tensions and ongoing conflicts. Understanding the root causes of the strife is crucial to finding lasting solutions. The path to peace and stability lies in addressing the grievances of all communities and fostering dialogue to build trust and harmony among the diverse population.


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