Victim of mob gang-rape in India describes ordeal two women suffered

‘They made us walk naked, they abused us, they touched us everywhere’: Victim of mob gang-rape that has ‘shamed India’ describes ordeal the two Christian women suffered

  • Infuriated women in Manipur set fire to the house of a suspect in the vile attack 

A victim has described her harrowing ordeal after she and another Christian woman were allegedly paraded naked and sexually assaulted by a mob of apparently Hindu men in Manipur, northeast India, where ethnic violence has flared in recent months.

Horrific video showing two naked women being dragged down a road as they are groped by the men, before they were allegedly raped in a field, has sparked fury across the country.

The victims are reported to be two women from the Christian Kuki tribe aged in their 20s and 60s, and are now safe in a refugee camp following the vile assaults, which took place in early May. 

One woman told Associated Press: ‘They forced us to remove our clothes and said we will be killed if we don’t do as told. Then they made us walk naked. They abused us. They touched us everywhere … on our breasts, our genitals.’

The father and brother of the younger woman were bludgeoned to death as they tried to protect her from the violent mob, The Times reports officials in the northeastern state as having said.

It comes as women in the state have set fire to the house of a prime suspect in the attack, police have said, as angry protests over it has gripped the nation.

Women holding torches shout slogans as they take part in a demonstation demanding for the restoration of peace in India’s north-eastern Manipur state

Harrowing video shows the two naked women being dragged down a road in Manipur state, northeast India, while young men grope their genitals as the victims try to pull away from their clawing hands. Pictured: A video grab from the footage showing the mob of men

The remote state of Manipur has been in the grips of a near-civil war since May, which has left 130 dead and seen mobs rampage through villages killing people and torching houses. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi broke two months of silence after the video went viral to condemn the brutal assault, saying it has ‘shamed India’ and that the ‘guilty will not be spared’. 

‘What has happened to the daughters of Manipur can never be forgiven,’ Modi said in his first comments on ethnic clashes in the remote state that is ruled by his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party. 

‘My heart is filled with pain and anger. The incident from Manipur that has come to the fore is shameful for any civilised nation,’ he said, as he urged chief ministers to strengthen law enforcement. 

Hours after Modi promised tough action, the main suspect, a resident of Manipur state, was arrested on Thursday .

Three others also were arrested and a police official said they were tracing at least 30 others involved in the crime.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi broke two months of silence after the video went viral to condemn the brutal assault

One of the alleged perpetrators has been named by NDTV as Huirem Heradas Singh, 32, who is alleged to have been seen dragging one of the women.

If convicted, the men could face the death penalty, said Chief Minister of Manipur, N Biren Singh.

The Chief Minister added: ‘After seeing the video, we took a decision to condemn the heinous crime and we term it a crime against humanity…’

This morning, women in the state attacked the house of a suspect who allegedly dragged the two tribal women onto the streets in May and later incited a mob to rape and parade them naked, police said on Friday.

The sexual assault took place over two months ago but it captured national attention after a short video went viral on social media earlier this week.

‘Local women pelted stones and burnt some parts of the house belonging to the prime accused in a village,’ said Hemant Pandey, a senior police official in capital city Imphal.

People hold placards during a protest over sexual violence against women and for peace in the ongoing ethnic violence in India’s north-eastern state of Manipur

Women’s rights activists hold a candlelight vigil to protest against the ongoing violence against women and girls in Manipur state

‘We request women to protest peacefully as there is intense unease. We understand their rage,’ he said.

Protests were planned in several parts of India by rights groups demanding justice and swift investigations into the latest incident to raise questions about the safety of women in the country.

‘We want to know why police failed to take swift action when they knew that women were raped and paraded naked in Manipur,’ said Radhika Burman, a student in eastern city of Kolkata.

The Indian Youth Congress staged a protest against the Manipur incident, with activists holding a candle vigil calling for peace in the state.

The group’s state president, Manoj Lubana criticised the BJP and Modi saying the Prime Minister ‘has time to visit foreign countries, but he hasn’t yet visited the strife-hit state.’

The sexual assault was reported by the victims in May after ethnic clashes began in Manipur.

The shell of a burnt houses stands following ethnic clashes and rioting in Sugnu, in the northeastern Indian state of Manipur, on Wednesday 

The fighting was triggered by a court order that the government should consider extending special benefits enjoyed by the tribal Kuki people to the majority Meitei population as well.

At least 140 people have been killed and more than 60,000 have fled their homes since the violence erupted.

Houses have been torched as mobs rampaged through villages, with some 4,400 homes reported destroyed and 357 churches burnt down.

The unrest is believed to have stemmed from a demand by the mostly Hindu Meitei people for special status that would allow them to buy land in the hills, which are largely populated by Christian Kukis and other tribal groups.

Source: Read Full Article