Manipur Horror: Tribals demand punishment for perpetrators

Imphal: Braving heavy downpour, thousands of tribals in Manipur’s Churachandpur district on Thursday raised their demand for a separate administration and stringent punishment for the perpetrators involved in the horrific incident in Kangpokpi district where two women were paraded naked and allegedly gang-raped.

Holding banners and placards and wearing black attires, thousands of men and women, mostly youth, joined a massive rally organised by the Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF) as a mark of protest against the shocking incident of May 4, when two women were paraded naked on camera, a day after ethnic violence broke out in the northeastern state.

The spirited rally, also attended by elders, demanded a separate administration (equivalent to separate state) for the tribals “as they are not safe living with the Meitei community”.

Raising slogans for a separate administration, the rally commenced from the Lamka Public Ground. Despite heavy rains, the determination of the protesters remained firm as they marched towards the Peace Ground after covering a large part of the hill town.

The protesters also demanded Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh’s resignation, and immediate intervention by the Central government.

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At the Peace Ground, prominent ITLF leaders and community chiefs addressed the gathering, expressing their concerns and reiterating the separate administration demand.

The ITLF leaders demanded exemplary punishment for the perpetrators to prevent such atrocities in the future.

Local artistes also joined the cause in a show of solidarity with the protesters.

The ITLF leaders later submitted a memorandum to Home Minister Amit Shah through the Deputy Commissioner of Churachandpur district, urging the Central government to intervene and take suitable actions to ensure justice for the victims, and prevent such incidents from recurring.


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