The viral video from Manipur, showing a mob of men parading naked, and sexually assaulting two Kuki women has shaken the whole country. Both the Tribal community of Manipur and the civil society at large are demanding strict actions against all the preparators.

Speaking to The Citizen, Annie Raja Senior Communist Party of India (CPI) leader Annie Raja said that there are many similar cases that have gone unreported. Raja was also slapped with a Sedition case after she along with two other members went as a fact-finding team to Manipur and said that it was “state sponsored violence”.

“There are many more cases like this. This is not the only case where the women have been stripped and paraded naked. Women have been tortured and brutally beaten. Many women we met in Imphal were so brutally beaten that their body parts were still swollen,” Raja added.

Visibly distressed, she said that it is outrageous how Prime Minister Narendra Modi has commented on the issue after 78 days of violence. “The prime minister commented on the whole issue after one single video and only on that one incident. He should have talked about bringing peace and tranquillity in the state, how to bring back the confidence of the people and how to unite the people.

“He should have spoken about this but instead we can see how the statement was political and he used Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh in his statement,” Raja said, adding that he only spoke about the violence because the Monsoon session of Parliament started on Thursday.

Launching an attack at Chief Minister Biren Singh, who in his latest statement had said the culprits will be given “capital punishment” Raja said no talks of peace have still been made.

“The Chief Minister is talking about capital punishment, but he is responsible for whatever is happening in the state. As the chief minister of that state, he has the accountability to take care of his state.

“He should not try to escape from all the crimes that have happened in Manipur. Even he is not talking about bringing peace in Manipur. This government needs to take responsibility,” Raja said.

Meanwhile, The Citizen spoke to Manipuri living in Delhi, who shared their anguish and helplessness over what is happening back home. Most of the people belong to the Kuki community.

“On the day, violence started the government could have done something to stop it and they had enough time to do so. However, our CM ordered a curfew in all parts of the affected areas instead. If it is not the sign of State sponsored ethnic cleansing then what is?” said Linda Simte, a resident of Manipur who is studying in Delhi.

She also blamed the government and media for working together and spreading propaganda towards the Kuki community. “Why did most of the violence happen with the Kukis? I strongly believe many people won't even know the truth and have been brainwashed by the government and media,” she added.

Simte said that the incident was known by many in the community and while the media did not report it, many more incidents happened thereafter. “I cried so much after watching the video,” Simte said.

The Kuki community is demanding a separate administration, with stronger voices coming at the forefront. “The brutality that our tribal people have gone through will be forever remembered. If we tribal people don’t stand for ourselves right now, then who knows what our future generation will face. So, we will take a stand for ourselves and demand a separate administration,” she added.

Meanwhile, Zomi Mother’s Association, a Manipur based civil society is expected to have a meeting in Guwahati and discuss the current situation. Many women organisations have given a call for protest in the national capital on July 21.

Delhi civil societies have also condemned the violent incident, saying that the recording and posting of the viral video “violates the dignity and rights of the survivors”.

“The fact that this incident had happened on May 4, right after the ethnic violence began on 3 May this year, and no action was taken more than a mere zero FIR, makes the police apathy with the victims and collusion with the perpetrators of the crime abundantly clear.

“Added to this is the deafening silence of the CM and PM which is highly condemnable. Women have become the direct victims of the ongoing ethnic violence in the state,” said a joint statement by All India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA), All India Mahila Samskritik Sanghatan (AIMSS), Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW), Pragatisheel MS, Zimmedari SWO.

The women’s groups demanded immediate arrest of the accused and fast-tracking of the case, action against the policemen responsible for dereliction of duty, resignation of Biren Singh and immediate steps to restore peace in Manipur.