After Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke on the incident of women being paraded naked in Manipur, the Congress said this was “too little too late” and that “mere words won’t do anymore”. The Congress also accused PM Modi of playing politics by mentioning Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh while purportedly “breaking his silence” on the events in Manipur.
Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh, while hitting out at Modi, said after more than 1800 hours of “an unforgivable and incomprehensible silence”, the PM finally spoke on the situation in Manipur but for just 30 seconds. However, after this, the PM tried to equate the crimes against women in other states while ignoring atrocities on women in states like MP, UP and Gujarat. Ramesh alleged in a tweet that the PM completely sidestepped the issue of the ongoing ethnic conflict in Manipur.
Before the start of the Monsoon session of Parliament on Thursday, Prime Minister Modi requested all chief ministers to further strengthen law and order mechanism in their respective states, especially to protect women and to take most stringent action wherever necessary.
Modi also included mention of states such as Congress-ruled Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, while protecting women and calling for boosting law and order. “I want to assure the people of the country that no guilty will be spared. What has happened to these daughters of Manipur can never be forgiven,” he said. “My heart is full of pain and anger,” Modi added.
Modi came in for criticism by opposition parties for not speaking on the ethnic violence in Manipur. In a lengthy Twitter post, Ramesh said, “He (Modi) has made no appeal for peace, nor asked for the chief minister of Manipur to step down. While he has commented on this one video that has surfaced, this is only one example of the hundreds of incidents of barbaric violence in the state of Manipur.”
Ramesh added, “This is too little too late. Mere words won’t do anymore. Actions must speak louder.” He also asserted that there has been a complete and total collapse of law and order and administration in Manipur.
Meanwhile, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said that the first thing the PM should do is dismiss the “discredited government” of N Biren Singh and impose President’s rule in Manipur. “He (the PM) did not spare a thought for the people of Manipur when he was traveling to the US, France, the UAE and to various states in India to inaugurate something or other,” Chidambaram said in a tweet. “I wonder what prompted him to remember Manipur? Was it the horrific video of the unspeakable crime against the women of Manipur? Was it the Supreme Court taking cognisance of the massive violation of human rights in Manipur?” he said.
On Thursday, the nation’s Supreme Court on Thursday said it was “very deeply disturbed” by the video of two women being paraded naked in Manipur, terming it “simply unacceptable in a constitutional democracy”. A bench headed by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud asked the Centre and the Manipur government to take immediate action, taking cognisance of the video.
In related news, Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate said that the PM spoke for 8 minutes and 25 seconds before the Parliament session started and he spared only 36 seconds for Manipur. “The (Manipur video) incident is 77 days old and you are really getting to know about it now? The truth is that you are as much responsible for this brutality as those seen in the video,” Shrinate tweeted. “Today every woman of this country is feeling naked – it seems someone is not only tearing the body but also the soul. Shame on you Modi ji, it is unfortunate that you are the prime minister of this country,” she added.
Meanwhile, tension has risen in Manipur after a May 4 video surfaced on Wednesday showing two women from one of the warring communities in the region being paraded naked by a mob from the other side. Manipur has been witnessing ethnic clashes since May 3 between the tribal Kukis, occupying the hills and the majority Meitei community, concentrated in the Imphal valley. Over 160 people have been killed in the violence so far.