The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) took a crucial step in the May 4 viral video case that shocked the nation and the world. On Monday, the CBI filed a chargesheet against six accused and a report against a juvenile “child in conflict with law.” The case, which unfolded in Manipur, involves heinous acts of sexual assault on women and the killing of two men, leaving an indelible mark on the collective conscience.
The incident which occurred on May 4, witnessed a mob of approximately 900 to 1,000 armed individuals, equipped with sophisticated weapons, descending upon B Phainom village in Kangpokpi district, Manipur. The consequences were nothing short of catastrophic, as the mob engaged in a rampage that included vandalizing and setting houses ablaze, looting properties, assaulting villagers, committing murders, and subjecting women to sexual assault. Shockingly, reports emerged that three women were paraded naked, and a 21-year-old woman fell victim to an alleged gangrape at the hands of the mob. Tragically, it was also alleged that two family members of one of the victims lost their lives during the incident.
The Central Bureau of Investigation’s involvement came into play nearly three months after Manipur Police made initial arrests in the case. The catalyst for CBI’s intervention was the emergence of a video in July, which depicted the women being paraded naked, thereby evoking widespread condemnation both within India and globally. As a result, the Supreme Court took cognizance of the matter and entrusted it to the CBI. The investigation is currently ongoing, with a focus on identifying other individuals involved in the crimes and delving into other aspects of the case.
Charges and legal actions:
The accused individuals have been charged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, encompassing charges related to gangrape, murder, outraging the modesty of a woman, and criminal conspiracy, as confirmed by the CBI.
The severity of the incident prompted Prime Minister Narendra Modi to react, stating that the act of parading the two women naked had brought shame to 1.4 billion Indians. He reassured the nation that the full force of the law would be brought to bear, and no guilty party would escape justice.
Government extends Internet ban:
Meanwhile, the Manipur government has decided to extend the suspension of internet services in the strife-ridden northeastern state until October 21. This extension has been justified by the state authorities as a measure aimed at thwarting the activities of disruptive elements and preserving peace, order, and harmony within Manipur.
In an official notice released on Monday, the state government cited concerns raised by the Director General of Police, Manipur Police, in light of recent incidents of violence. These incidents encompassed clashes between the public and security forces, attempts by mobs to target elected officials’ residences, and civil unrest at police stations. The notice emphasized the immediate threat to loss of life and damage to public and private property, as well as the potential for widespread disruptions to public tranquility.
The government’s directive also highlighted the role of inflammatory content and false rumors that might be disseminated through social media platforms, messaging services on mobile devices, SMS services, and dongle services. Such content has the potential to exacerbate the existing turmoil in Manipur.
The notification concluded by specifying that the internet suspension would remain in place until 7:45 pm on October 21, with the intention of mitigating the risk of further violence within Manipur.