(This story was first published on 7 May 2016 and has been reposted from The Quint's archives to celebrate Mother’s Day)
On 15 July 2004, an image from Manipur shocked the entire world. 12 middle aged mothers stood naked in front of the Kangla Fort in Imphal with a banner that read ‘Indian Army Rape Us’. The Assam Rifles was stationed at Kangla then.
The ‘naked protest’ was against the murder and alleged rape of Thangjam Manorama by the Assam Rifles. According to the security forces, Manorama was a militant of the banned People’s Liberation Army.
‘We are all Manorama’s mothers”, screamed the mothers as they took off their wraparounds and blouses . With their stark naked bodies they took on the guns of the security forces. After the protest, Assam Rifles vacated the Kangla fort and AFSPA was lifted from seven assembly areas of Imphal. But the alleged killers of Manorama are yet to be punished. The 12 mothers were Gyaneshwari, Taruni, Ramani, Jamini, Nganbi, Ibemhal, Momon, Ibetomi, Jibanmala, Tombi, Soro and Mema.
On this Mother’s Day, The Quint salutes the brave mothers of Manipur.
Video Input: Sunzu Bachaspatimayum
Editor: Nitin Sharma