Country-wide Protest Against Sexual Assault on Kuki Women

Protests and sit-ins were organised across the country on July 21 by CPIML, AIPWA, AISA and various progressive organisations and citizens groups against the violence in Manipur and criminal silence of the Modi-Biren double engine government. Condemning the acts of sexual violence against women and impunity provided to perpetrators by the government, the protesters demanded resignation Home Minister Amit Shah and Manipur CM N Biren Singh.

It’s been more than two months since ethnic violence, stoked by BJPs divisive policies began in Manipur. Despite numerous reports of mass crimes, killings and rapes/ gang rapes, both the state and central government criminally ignored the calls for justice. From gangrapes and sexual violence to burning people's homes, the last 80 days have seen unspeakable acts in Manipur aided and instigated by the BJP government and RSS machinery.

Com. Dipankar Bhattacharya, GS, CPIML Liberation, speaking at the protest at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar said that what is happening in Manipur is what we saw in Kashmir. It is the nefarious agenda of the BJP government to communally divide the people and the nation. Women, Dalits, Adivasis, Minorities and all sections of the society are under the fascist attack.

"The incidents in Manipur are symptomatic of the complete apathy and the capacity to manufacture violence of the RSS-BJP regime. The people of the country are realising it every day and challenging it every day," added Com. Dipankar.

AISA Delhi State Secretary, Neha spoke calling upon the government to ensure peace in Manipur, saying, "N Biren Singh and his party have not only failed, but instigated the violence happening. The fact that two Kuki women had to go through this trauma publicly for the Prime Minister to speak up is shameful for the country."

In Patna, a protest was organised at Buddha Murti Park Park where Com. Kunal, state secretary of CPIML condemning the silence of Modi government said that “all this [incidents of violence and sexual assaults] was going on in Manipur since the first week of May, but the Prime Minister of our country silently watched the unfolding events. Only after 79 days, when the video of assault became viral in social media, PM Modi decided to open his mouth. What is happening in Manipur is a direct result of BJP’s policy of promoting hatred, communal violence and rape for its vulgar quest for power.

In Bihar, protests were also organized by CPIML and mass organisations at Arwal, Motihari, Nawada, Masodhi, Jehanabad, Darbhanga, Ara and Buxar among other places.

Speaking at a citizen’s protest at Bengaluru’s town hall, Clifton D' Rozario, CPIML Liberation Karnataka State Secretary said that, “there is a complete collapse of the rule of law in Manipur. The incident of brutal violence against two Kuki women 4th of May, the day after violence erupted in the state. Yet it was only after the video had become viral and the Supreme Court took suo moto cognizance of the crime that the Central and State governments acknowledged the incident and some arrests were made.”

“The presence of police personnel during the incident and their inaction also raises several questions regarding the role of the state establishment and their complicit in the crime. Home Minister Amit Shah and Manipur CM must immediately resign for their complete failure in ensuring peace and justice in Manipur,” said Com. Indrani Dutta, Central Committee Member at a march against the violence against women in Manipur held at Kolkata’s Jadavpur.

The Chief Minister of Manipur, N Biren Singh, has himself indulged in hate mongering against tribals by upholding the narrative of 'foreigner' against the Kuki-Zo community of Manipur. Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who is known as a mastermind of communal violence in Gujarat and has set up a track record of shielding perpetrators of majoritarian violence while being the Union Home Minister had paid a formal visit to the state. But violence in Manipur has continued unabated till now.

Addressing the protest at Punjab’s Mansa, Jasbir Kaur Natt, CPIML State Committee Member said that Clearly, what is happening in Manipur not mere law and order problem, but a nefarious conspiracy by BJP led forces to divide the society and target the Kuki-Zo tribals. Instead of taking any measures to ensure justice and peace in Manipur, the government is busy threatening Twitter for the posting of the video clip. We demand an SC Monitored Team with members of civil society to investigate into all such incidents of violence and rapes. The team must look into actions taken by Manipur Police in all such incidents.”

Protests were also held at many towns in Uttarakhand including Udham Singh Naar, Nainital, Joshimath and Srinagar. Kailash Pandey, Nainital Secretary of CPIML said “it is now clear that when the BJP runs its government in any state, riots, rapes and murders become the mode of governance. We in Uttarakhand are also witnessing attacks on minorities and displacements of forest dwellers and urban poor under the BJP’s state government.”

Protest demonstrations were also held in Assam, Karbi Anglong, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, UP, Rajasthan among other states. People from all over the country are calling upon the government to act steadfastly and ensure peace and justice in Manipur.

The countrywide protest called for -  
   • Immediate identification and arrest of all the perpetrators!  
   • Immediate resignation of Manipur CM N Biren Singh and Union Home Minister Amit Shah!  
  • A SC Monitored fact-finding commission with members of civil society to investigate into all such incidents of violence and rapes. The team must look into actions taken by Manipur Police in all such incidents.