In the midst of ethnic violence, shocking video of a sexual assault in India's Manipur state has surfaced.

An upsetting video that surfaced on social media depicting two women being made to walk naked by a baying mob in the northeastern Indian state of Manipur sparked outrage and forced the nation's leader Narendra Modi to speak out about the state's ongoing interethnic conflict.


According to the Indigenous Tribal Leaders' Forum (ITLF), the viral video shows an event that happened on May 4. However, police didn't make any arrests until this week, after the video had already gone viral. On Wednesday, Manipur Police called the event "a case of abduction, gang rape, and murder" on Twitter.


On Thursday, officials announced that four persons had been detained and that police operations were still proceeding.

CNN has watched the footage in which two terrified ladies are made to pass through a group of dressed males. The women are encircled by a group of males, several of whom are holding long canes or sticks as weapons, and look to be the targets of groping and sexual assault.


The shocking video was released more than two months after the incident; on May 3, Manipur's ongoing ethnic strife prompted state-wide internet prohibitions.


On Thursday, Modi spoke on the state's situation for the first time, saying: "My heart is filled with anguish and rage. Any civil society should be ashamed of the Manipur situation.

"What happened to the daughters of Manipur can never be forgiven," Modi added, adding that "law will take its course with all its might."

The Indian Supreme Court ordered the federal and Manipur state governments to take "immediate steps... to hold perpetrators accountable" and "ensure such incidents are not repeated" on Thursday as outrage and disgust over the attack grew.


The court declared that it was "completely unacceptable" in a constitutional democracy to use women as weapons of violence.


N. Biren Singh, the chief minister of Manipur, denounced the incident.

on Thursday, calling it a "crime against humanity."


Speaking to reporters in the state capital Imphal, Singh stated that the Manipur state government, which is led by Modi's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, would not allow crimes against "women and our sisters," adding that the offenders would get the harshest punishment.


"The government and its agencies along with the people of Manipur will make efforts so that they [the offenders] are given the highest punishment of today: capital punishment," he stated. "Even though it is for the court to decide the kind of punishment, we will make sure that they [the offenders] are given the death penalty."


Inability of Singh, a BJP member, to stop ongoing ethnic violence in Manipur has drawn criticism. A big Meitei mob is shown in a video that went viral today escorting two Kuki-Zo tribal women towards a rice field to be gang-raped, according to a statement from the ITLF that was released on Wednesday.

According to the statement's further explanation, the "despicable incident" occurred in the Kangpokpi district's B. Phainom hamlet and "shows the men constantly molesting the helpless women, who cry and plead with their captors."


In recent months, Manipur has struggled with violence.


On May 3, after thousands of students, largely from the Kuki tribe, participated in a demonstration against the dominant Meitei ethnic minority, who have petitioned for special tribal status, clashes broke out in the state capital Imphal. Tribal designation would give the Meitei additional prospects for government employment, among other things, and allow them to purchase land.


Since then, tens of thousands more people have been evacuated and over 100 people have died. According to the ITLF, the incident on May 4 happened after the women's village was destroyed by fire and two males were brutally murdered.

The leader of India's main opposition Congress party, Mallikarjun Kharge, tweeted on Thursday, just before the start of Parliament, "Humanity has died in Manipur," criticising Modi's handling of the situation. By tearing apart the fragile social fabric of the state, the Modi government and the BJP have transformed democracy and the rule of law into mobocracy.


His tweet continued, "India will never forgive your silence," tagging Modi. If your government still has any conscience or remorse, you should talk about Manipur in Parliament and explain what happened, rather than placing blame elsewhere for your combined incompetence at both the Centre and the State.

N. Biren Singh, the state's chief minister, tweeted shortly afterward to announce an arrest.


The Manipur Police "swung into action and made the first arrest this morning after taking a Suo-moto cognisance of the incident immediately after the video surfaced," he added. Suo-moto cognisance is an Indian legal procedure that enables the court to act in a matter even in the absence of a complaint.

He said, "An extensive investigation is currently under progress, and we'll make sure that all of the criminals face harsh punishment, perhaps even the death penalty. Let it be understood that such horrible deeds have no place in our society.


Police in Manipur later announced that they had detained three more suspects "of the heinous crime of abduction and gang rape."


The state's Chief Secretary and Director General of Police received letters from the National Human Rights Commission of India (NHRC) on Thursday requesting a thorough report on the case within four weeks.

The NHRC stated in a statement that the report should include information about the status of the inquiry, health updates for female survivors and other harmed parties, as well as specifics concerning compensation - if any had been awarded.


Additionally, it requested information on the measures that would "safeguard citizens' human rights, particularly women and vulnerable sections of society from such barbaric incidents."

According to a source familiar with the situation, the Indian government has ordered Twitter and other social media platforms not to share the trending video. The source added that it is "imperative for social media platforms to adhere to Indian laws as the matter is currently under investigation."


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