BJP MP Gautam Gambhir on Friday termed the incident of two women being paraded naked in Manipur “extremely shameful” and said he feels ashamed to call himself an Indian.
The cricketer-turned-BJP MP from East Delhi told reporters on the sidelines of an event that Manipur-like incidents are not a common occurrence and it is the duty of the state’s chief minister to not let these happen.
“It is extremely shameful. I feel ashamed to call myself an Indian because the issue is not only limited to Manipur. It has lowered the head of the entire country, so it should not be politicised,” Mr Gambhir said.
Tension mounted in Manipur after the May 4 video showing two women from one of the warring communities being paraded naked by a group of men from the other side surfaced on Wednesday.
Mr Gambhir alleged that opposition parties were indulging in politics over the incident and said it was a matter of shame for all 140 crore Indians.
“Politics is being done on the Manipur issue but it is not not a state-specific incident. If anything like this happens to two women or girls, it is a matter of shame for the whole country. As an Indian, our heads must hang in shame,” he said.
No incident like in Manipur should happen in any state in the future, he said.
Mr Gambhir, replying to a question on the lack of appropriate action by the Centre, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has assured the “strictest punishment” to the perpetrators of the “most heinous” crime.
Prime Minister Modi, in his first public comments on the Manipur violence, vowed on Thursday that no guilty would be spared and the law would act with its “full might and firmness”.
Mr Gambhir said, “This incident is no longer an issue of Manipur. It has become a national issue. Although it happened in Manipur and, as our prime minister has said, it should not happen anywhere in the country.” The prime minister has said the strictest punishment will be given to the accused, the BJP MP said.
The chief ministers of all the states are duty-bound to ensure that the women and girls are safe and such incidents never happen, Mr Gambhir added.
Four people have been arrested in connection with the incident, official sources in Imphal said on Thursday night, as the video capturing the ordeal of the two tribal women stoked nationwide outrage.
Many people have lost their lives and several injured since ethnic violence broke out in the state on May 3.
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