CBI takes over investigation of Manipur sexual assault casetext_fields
Imphal: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has assumed control of the investigation into a disturbing case of sexual assault that occurred in Manipur on May 4.
A video capturing the incident went viral on social media platforms earlier this month, sparking widespread outrage across the country. Two women from one of the warring communities in the state are seen being paraded naked by men from the other side. The footage shows the men continuously molesting the helpless women, who cry and plead for mercy.
Adding to the horrifying nature of the incident, the perpetrators shared the video on social media, revealing the victims' identities.
The Union Home Ministry referred the case to the CBI, which was already handling six other cases related to violence in Manipur. The government's decision to involve the federal agency came in response to the gravity of the alleged crimes committed in the northeastern state. The federal agency has stationed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) in Manipur, led by a DIG-rank officer. To further investigate the case, the CBI will dispatch additional women officers and forensic experts.
The Manipur Police had previously registered a case of abduction, gang rape, and murder at the Nongpok Sekmai police station in Thoubal district on May 18 against unidentified armed individuals. The CBI has now taken over the FIR registered by the state police as part of its standard procedure.
The distressing video surfaced just before a planned protest march by the Indigenous Tribal Leaders' Forum (ITLF) to raise awareness about the plight of tribals in Manipur. The ITLF spokesperson described the incident, which occurred in Kangpokpi district, as "despicable," highlighting the constant molestation endured by the vulnerable women.
The incident drew condemnation from the highest levels of authority, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud expressing deep anguish and denouncing the act as "shameful" and "unacceptable."
Manipur has been grappling with ethnic clashes between the majority Meitei community in the Imphal valley and the Kukis in the hills since May 3. The violence has claimed more than 150 lives so far.
The Meiteis constitute about 53% of Manipur's population, residing primarily in the Imphal valley, while tribals, including Nagas and Kukis, make up 40% of the population, residing mostly in the hill districts.