Six months after they had been stripped, paraded in their underwear, and accused of being gang raped by a single crowd in northeast India, two women whose video went viral were approached by the BBC for their first in-person interview. They talked of their lives and hiding places, their pursuit of justice, and their demands for a separate administration for their community.
The topic is being recorded for online distribution. It’s unsettling to watch. In less than a minute, it depicts a group of men from the predominantly Meitei population in the state of Manipur approaching two nude women, dragging and shoving them until they are dragged to a field where they are allegedly being gang raped.
Glory told them, “He was treated like an animal,” sobbing. “It’s hard enough living with that trauma, but then two months later when the video of the attack went viral, I almost lost all hope to continue living,” she said.
In addition to escalating their pain, the film served as proof of injustice by drawing attention to the May-long ethnic conflicts in Manipur between the Kuki and Meitei populations. However, the limelight forced the women to retreat even more, even though the video provoked intense indignation and action.
For Manipur, What Transpired?
“He called the local police, but they said we couldn’t help, our police station was also under attack,” he stated.
She reported the attack to the police once, two weeks after it happened, but nothing happened until the video was made public in July. The BBC has been informed by police sources that the lead officer and four other officers have been placed on leave while an investigation is carried out.
Mercy still experiences nightmares and fears thinking about the future, particularly for her kids. “It weighs me down so much, the thought that we have nothing to pass on to them, everything is gone,” she stated.
The film also served as the catalyst for the Supreme Court’s recognition of the ethnic conflicts and its recommendation that impartial investigating organizations such as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) be tasked with handling all violent cases. The state administration has been ordered by the highest court to identify the deceased and give their corpses back to their surviving relatives.