Manipur Video: Supreme Court takes Suo motu cognisance of women paraded naked; says court will act if government does not

Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud said that the Court was deeply disturbed by the video and it will act if the government does not.

In a significant development, the Supreme Court of India on Thursday took suo motu cognisance of a video that emerged online yesterday in which two Manipuri women belonging to Kuki tribe were seen paraded naked and being molested.

Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud said that the Court was deeply disturbed by the video and it will act if the government does not.

“Simply unacceptable. Using women as an instrument in an area of communal strife. Grossest of constitutional abuse. We are deeply disturbed by the videos which have emerged. If the government does not act, we will,” the CJI remarked.

The bench also comprising Justices PS Narasimha and Manoj Misra then sought the response of the Central and State governments on the steps taken by it to book the perpetrators.

“We are of the view that court must be apprised of the steps taken by the govt so that perpetrators are booked for such violence. What is portrayed in the media and visuals which appeared shows gross constitutional violation and infraction of human life using women as instruments of perpetrated violence is against constitutional democracy. Let Centre and State apprise court on steps taken,” the Court ordered.

Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Central government, also condemned the incident.

“This is unacceptable and we join your lordship. The government is also seriously concerned by the incident,” he said.

The SG said that such incidents are “completely unacceptable” assured the Court that the government has initiated immediate steps to bring the perpetrators to book and the outcome of the same will be placed before the Court.

The Supreme Court then directed that the matter be listed on July 28.

The current clashes and violence in Manipur has stemmed from the opposition of certain tribes to the demand by the majority Meitei community to grant them Scheduled Tribes status.

On April 19, 2023, Manipur High Court had ordered the Manipur government to “consider inclusion of the Meetei/Meitei community in the Scheduled Tribe list, expeditiously, preferably within a period four weeks” from the date of the order.

This led to clashes between tribal and non-tribal communities.

The horrific video of two women being paraded naked and molested had gone viral on social media yesterday.

The clip shows the two women being paraded naked by a mob of men and molested as they move towards a paddy field.

According to Mint, the incident happened on May 4 and the women were gang raped by the mob.

The Supreme Court is already hearing a batch of pleas filed regarding the outbreak of violence in the State.

On May 8, the Manipur government assured the Supreme Court that concerns regarding the ongoing violence will be addressed and that remedial measures will be taken on a proactive basis.

The Supreme Court had then called for due arrangements to be made in relief camps and for necessary precautions to be taken to rehabilitate displaced persons and to protect places of religious worship.

The Manipur Tribal Forum had sought deployment of the Army in tribal areas to control the situation but the Court had declined the request on July 11 stating that the apex court, in the 72 years of its existence, has never issued directions to the Indian Army on how to conduct military, security or rescue operations.


Source: Bar & Bench

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