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'We Are Afraid To Go Back': Kuki Women in Assam After Viral Manipur Video

Over 1,100 Kukis from Manipur are presently staying at multiple shelter camps in Assam's Cachar district.

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Video Editor: Mohd. Irshad Alam

Hatnu Singson, a 42-year-old Kuki woman, left her home in Manipur's Jiribam district on 4 May and took shelter in Assam's Cachar district with her three daughters aged 20, 17, and 13.

And after a video showing a Meitei mob sexually assaulting and parading at least two Kuki women naked, sparked nationwide outrage, Hatnu doesn’t feel safe returning to her home state of Manipur.

“I have seen a video on Facebook where two women were stripped naked. That is very shameful for any girl. We are terrified,” said Hatnu.

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"Would you keep quiet if the same had happened to your mothers and sisters? Our hearts are burning. This is not the rule, no matter from which community you are. Nobody gives anyone the right to do that to a woman."
Lhingboi, Kuki woman in Assam shelter

Over 1,100 Kukis from Manipur are presently staying at multiple shelter camps in Cachar district, and most of them are women and children. After watching the recent videos from Manipur, the women said that they are afraid now more than ever. 

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Many of them said that the fear of being raped in violence-hit Manipur forced them to leave their homes in May, with no hope of returning. 

“We are helpless, we couldn’t do anything. What kind of government is this? It has failed and lied to us. Indian democracy, the constitution have failed us,” Lhinboi, who is also at the shelter with her kids, said. 

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Sabrina Singson, a 20-year-old college student, said that she just wants peace to prevail in Manipur.

Lhingboi is leading the ladies in the camp, and they have developed a discipline of works. "We have distributed the works and we cook food at a common area and different teams of women do this in different shifts," she said. 

“Earlier, people from all communities used to live in peace and harmony. But now, everything has changed in Manipur,” said Lhingboi.

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Topics:  Violence   manipur   Manipur violence 

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