With opposition and ruling party passing the blame on each other regarding violence against women, the Supreme Court on Monday stated that the incident of sexual assault against the Manipuri women could not be justified by highlighting similar incidents in other states.
A bench of Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud and Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra while hearing a batch of pleas filed by two women from the Kuki tribe who were paraded naked by a mob of men made the remark in response to advocate Bansuri Swaraj, appearing in an intervention application, who highlighted that in West Bengal and Chhattisgarh also women were paraded naked by mobs and the top court should also take up those incidents along with the Manipur incident.
The CJI said, “We are dealing with unprecedented violence against women in communal and sectarian violence. It cannot be gainsaid that crimes are happening against woman and in Bengal also. But here the case is different. We cannot justify what happened in Manipur by saying that this and this happened elsewhere.”
It may be mentioned that on July 20, Supreme Court of India took suo moto cognizance of the incident adding that if the government does not act, the apex court will.
Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud said, “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.”
Notably, a video surfaced on online platforms on July 19 where two women were seen being paraded naked and constantly molested by their captors.
According to Manipur police, the video was shot on May 4 in Kangpokpi district in B Phainom village where both women were allegedly gang-raped after the entire village was burnt down.
The police, however, said the incident happened in another district, though the first information report (FIR) was filed in Kangpokpi.
Furthermore, a total of 126 Nakas/Checkpoints were installed in different districts of Manipur, both in the hill and the valley and Police detained 452 persons in connection with violations in different districts of the state.
Manipur Police appealed to general public to extend all possible help in bringing normalcy in the state, to clarify any rumour by dialing rumour free number- 9233522822 of Central Control room, and to return and deposit arms, ammunition and explosives to the police or security forces immediately.