Following the circulation of a distressing video capturing the assault, the nation has been gripped by outrage over a series of brutal acts of violence targeting tribal women from the Kuki-Zomi community.
The victims, identified as Vungi (aged 43) and Kim (aged 21), have chosen to remain anonymous for their protection and are currently residing in a secure shelter at an undisclosed location. The delay in officially registering the initial Zero FIR, filed by a family member on 18th May, 2023, until 21st June, 2023, has raised serious questions about the timeliness and effectiveness of the legal response.
Furthermore, this incident is not an isolated one, as the press statement highlighted a record of twenty-seven Kuki-Zomi women victims, with cases ranging from rape and bludgeoning to death to lynching and shooting.
Several prominent organizations, including the Vaiphei People’s Council, Young Vaiphei Association, Zillai, Zomi Students Federation, and Kuki Students Organisation, issued a joint press statement expressing deep concern and strong condemnation of the vicious sexual assault and gangrape of two Kuki-Zomi women in Manipur on May 4th, 2023.
Such brutal crimes against humanity, especially on tribal women, have ignited widespread outrage, prompting the councils to call for immediate action and justice. The councils emphasised that these acts of violence are rooted in ethnic tensions and are politically motivated.
The report also called upon the press, media, and government authorities at local, national, and international levels to raise their voices against this gross violation of human rights. It urged everyone to stand in solidarity with the victims and their families and seek due justice for all victims of sexual crimes.
Addressing the state government and political forces, the councils condemned their failure to prevent such incidents and hold them accountable for allowing these heinous crimes to occur.