National Commission for Women (NCW) Chairperson Rekha Sharma today said she had reached out thrice in the last three months to authorities in Manipur over incidents of violence against women but no response was received from them.
She was responding to reports in a section of the media that claimed the commission had on June 12 received a complaint about the incident of two women being paraded naked on May 4 in the ethnic violence-hit northeastern state but had not taken any action. The May 4 video surfaced online on July 19.
Ms Sharma denied receiving any report of the incident and said she took suo motu cognisance of the incident on Friday after the video surfaced and sought explanation from authorities on the matter.
However, the NCW chief said that she had received other complaints regarding women issues and for that she had reached out thrice to authorities in Manipur but no response was received from them.
She also shared the letters sent to authorities in the state.
Ms Sharma had written to them over complaints of incidents of violence against women.
“We had to verify the authenticity, and also the complaints were not from Manipur, some were not even from India. We reached out to authorities but no response was received from them but then we took suo motu cognisance when the video (of women being paraded naked) went viral yesterday,” Ms Sharma said.
The letters were written on May 18, May 29 and June 19.
Tension mounted in the hills of Manipur after the May 4 video surfaced on Wednesday showing two women from one of the warring communities being paraded naked by a group of men from the other side.
Four people have been arrested in connection with the incident, official sources in Imphal said on Thursday night, as the 26-second video capturing the ordeal of the two tribal women a day after ethnic violence erupted in the northeastern state on May 3 stoked a nationwide outrage.
The horrific footage surfaced only on Wednesday and became viral after the internet ban was lifted.
More than 160 people have lost their lives, and several have been injured since ethnic violence broke out in the state on May 3 when a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.
Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur’s population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley, while tribals, which include Nagas and Kukis, constitute 40 per cent and reside mostly in the hill districts.
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