(Trigger Warning: Descriptions of rape, sexual assault. Reader discretion advised.)
A day after a 77-day-old video of two Kuki women being paraded naked in Manipur surfaced on social media, 32-year-old Heradas, one of the main accused in the case, was arrested in Thoubal district, Chief Minister N Biren Singh said.
"Three more accused of the heinous crime of abduction and gang-rape under Nongpok Sekmai PS, Thoubal District have been arrested," Manipur Police tweeted on Thursday evening.
"So total four persons have been arrested till now," the police added.
The incident seen in the viral video occurred in Manipur's Kangpokpi district on 4 May, after a Meitei mob descended the B Phainom village with ammunition, and allegedly burnt houses down – a day after ethnic violence broke out in the northeastern state.
The Big Points:
Heradas is seen wearing a green shirt in the viral video where two Kuki-Zo women – visibly distressed and crying for help – were stripped naked and paraded by the Meitei mob.
The gruesome video also showed the men touch their private parts publicly and drag them towards a paddy field.
What Was Said:
Superintendent of Police (SP), Imphal West, K Meghachandra Singh, in a press note on 19 July, said:
"As regards the video of two women paraded naked by unknown armed miscreants on 4 May 2023, a case of abduction, gangrape, and murder was registered at Nongpok Sekmai Police Station (Thoubal district) against unknown armed miscreants. Investigation has started and the state police is making an all-out effort to arrest the culprits at the earliest".
What We Know:
The Quint has accessed a complaint filed earlier on 21 June at Saikul Police Station by the head of B Phainom village, where the women resided.
As per the complaint, three women were "physically forced to remove their clothes and were stripped naked in front of the mob."
One of the women, a 21-year-old was brutally gang-raped, and her brother and father were murdered by the mob, the complaint alleged.
A zero FIR was registered under sections 302 (murder), 354 (outraging a woman's modesty), 376 (rape), and 326 (causing grievous hurt) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).