Manipur Police makes fifth arrest in connection with parading of two women

Imphal; Manipur Police has arrested a fifth person, aged around 19, in connection with the May 4 parading of two tribal women in Kangpokpi district of the state, officials said on Saturday.

The two women are alleged to have been sexually assaulted before being set free by a mob. A 26-second video of the incident surfaced on Wednesday.

On Thursday, a man who was part of the mob that paraded the women at B. Phainom village and was seen dragging one of them was among four people who were arrested as the incident drew widespread condemnation.

These four people were remanded to 11-day police custody on Friday, police said.

One of the women seen in the video is the wife of an ex-Army man, who served as a subedar in the Assam Regiment and had even fought in the Kargil War.

A complaint in connection with the video was lodged around a month ago – June 21 – at the Saikul police station in Kangpokpi district.

The FIR filed in this case, a copy of which was seen by PTI, revealed the tale of mayhem which occurred before the abduction of the tribal women, a video of which has now formed the basis of raids and arrests of people connected with the incident.

The FIR also claimed that one person was killed by the mob as he tried to protect his sister from being raped on May 4 before the two were paraded naked and molested in front of others.

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.