Manipur incident: ‘First arrest made, investigation underway,’ says CM Biren Singh

A day after a video of women being paraded naked by a mob of men in Manipur surfaced online, Chief Minister Biren Singh announced that the first arrest has been made. The Manipur Chief Minister assured strict action against the perpetrators, adding that the possibility of capital punishment would be considered.

“A thorough investigation is currently underway and we will ensure strict action is taken against all the perpetrators, including considering the possibility of capital punishment,” Chief Minister Biren Singh wrote on Twitter on Thursday.

“My heart goes out to the two women who were subjected to a deeply disrespectful and inhumane act, as shown in the distressing video that surfaced yesterday. After taking a suo-moto cognisance of the incident immediately after the video surfaced, the Manipur Police swung to action and made the first arrest this morning,” he added.

The video, which sparked nationwide outrage, showed two women from the Kuki-Zomi community being paraded naked by a mob of men and being sexually assaulted. Earlier, a senior official told The Indian Express that the incident had taken place on May 4 in Thoubal district and that a zero FIR had been registered in the matter on May 18 in Kangpokpi district. However, while the FIR, on charges including abduction, gangrape and murder against “unknown armed miscreants”, was registered two months ago, there have not been any arrests so far.

The video surfaced amid the violent conflict that broke out in the Northeastern state in May, and has since claimed hundreds of lives. With the Monsoon Session of Parliament commencing on Thursday, the situation unfolding in Manipur is expected to take centre stage.

Addressing the media outside the Parliament building on Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned the Manipur incident, saying that it “brings shame to humanity”. He added, “what has happened to daughters of Manipur can never be forgiven, guilty will not be spared.”

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