HomeTop StoriesEnraged women set fire to houses of alleged sex abusers in India

Enraged women set fire to houses of alleged sex abusers in India


A group of enraged Indian women from the Meitei community set fire to the homes of two men accused of sexually abusing tribal women.

About the assault: The incident was reportedly triggered by the disturbing viral video showing two Kuki women being forced to strip naked and harassed by Meitei men on May 4.

According to a complaint filed with authorities some 15 days after the incident, a mob of about 800 to 1,000 people had previously vandalized and burned several houses in a village in Kangpokpi district before targeting members of the Kuki tribe.

Police arrested four suspects on Thursday, including the man who allegedly incited an armed mob to rape and parade the two women, aged 21 and 19, naked in the street in Manipur.

Vigilante Justice: The “Meira Paibis” or “Mothers of Manipur”, a group of Meitei women engaged in activism, have condemned the attack and demanded the death penalty for the accused.

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The Meira Paibis tore down the walls of the suspects’ homes and stuffed bales of hay into them before setting them on fire.

“We condemn what happened to the women,” said Sumati, a Meira Paibis member who took part in the incident. “The defendants and their families will not be able to live in their village. That’s why we destroyed the house.”

Thangjam Lata Devi, the mother of one of the suspects, also had her house set on fire by the women.

National Outrage: Video of the attack went viral on social media this week, sparking unrest in the northeastern Indian state and nationwide protests led by various rights groups.

Demonstrators demanding justice for the victims have questioned the authorities’ failure to act quickly when informed of the sexual assault and abuse of the women in Manipur.

Two months after the violence, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi broke his silence and promised tough action against the perpetrators.

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“I assure the nation that the law will go ahead with all its might,” Modi said. “What happened to the daughters of Manipur can never be forgiven.”

Local authorities arrested the four suspects following Modi’s statement and are currently pursuing at least 30 other individuals involved in the crime.

Ethnic Conflict: Violence in Manipur has been exacerbated by months of ethnic clashes between the predominantly Hindu Meitei majority and the predominantly Christian Kuki, resulting in the deaths of at least 120 people and the displacement of tens of thousands.

The Meitei community has advocated for reserved public job quotas and university admissions, leading to tensions with the Kuki community.

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