The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has been directed to lead the investigation into the incident of sexual violence that occurred on May 4 in Thoubal district, Manipur.
According to an affidavit filed by the Centre in the Supreme Court, three women were stripped and paraded naked, and one was raped during the incident. Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla presented the affidavit to the Supreme Court, stating that the decision to hand over the case to the CBI was made after consulting the Manipur government.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has also requested the Supreme Court to direct that the trial be conducted outside the state of Manipur. Furthermore, they seek an order from the top court to instruct the CBI to conclude the trial within six months from the date of filing the chargesheet.
Seventh arrest made in Manipur mob parading case
Police have reported the arrest of a seventh individual in relation to the appalling video that emerged online, depicting a mob parading two women naked in Manipur. The arrest took place on Monday in Thoubal district.
The initial arrest occurred on Thursday, July 20, a day after the 26-second video of the incident was posted online. Subsequently, three more individuals were arrested later that same day. On Saturday, a fifth suspect, aged 19, was apprehended, and the sixth person taken into custody was a minor, as confirmed by the police.
The central government emphasised its zero-tolerance policy towards crimes against women, particularly heinous ones like the case in Manipur. The objective is to ensure that justice is delivered promptly and that it acts as a deterrent against crimes targeting women across the nation.
The transfer of the investigation to the CBI was recommended by the Manipur government on May 26, and the MHA subsequently approved and forwarded the recommendation to the Secretary of the Department of Personnel and Training on July 27.
Meanwhile, the State of Manipur continues to experience violence, as a gunfight between two groups in the Kangvai area of Churachandpur district resulted in the loss of one life on the same day. This incident occurred 85 days after ethnic violence erupted in the region.
As a response to the current situation, the government has taken action by deploying additional CRPF companies and Army/Assam Rifles columns in Manipur.
Opposition alliance ‘India’ to assess situation in Manipur
Members of the Opposition alliance ‘India’ are scheduled to visit the violence-hit state of Manipur to assess the situation and meet with those affected.
Reports suggest Bharatiya Janata Party leader Sanjay Jaiswal stated that the Opposition is heading to the state today on July 28. However, he also acknowledged the efforts of Minister of State for Home Affairs, Nityanand Rai, who spent 28 days in Manipur and successfully controlled the situation.
The ongoing ethnic violence between the Meitei and Kuki communities in the northeastern state has resulted in the loss of over 100 lives so far. The clashes began on May 3 after a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organized to protest the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.