The husband of one of two women paraded naked and molested by a group of men in Manipur is a Kargil war veteran who rued that though he protected the country but could not save his wife from being humiliated.
The incident which sparked condemnation countrywide came to light when a video shot on May 4 surfaced on Wednesday night.
The husband had served the Indian Army as a Subedar of the Assam Regiment.
“I fought for the nation in the Kargil war and was also in Sri Lanka as part of the Indian Peace Keeping Force. I protected the nation but am dejected that after my retirement, I could not protect my home, my wife and fellow villagers… I am sad, depressed,” he told a Hindi news channel.
He said that on the fateful May 4 morning, a mob burnt down several houses in the locality, disrobed the two women and made them walk on the village paths in front of people.
“Police were present but took no action. I want that all those people who burnt the houses and humiliated the women get exemplary punishment,” he said.
Meanwhile, one of the victims seen in the video told a news portal that she was asked by the men to “lie down” in a field.
“Three men surrounded me…One of them told the other, ‘let’s rape her’, but…they didn’t,” she said. She added she was “lucky” they didn’t rape her, and added, “But they grabbed my breasts.”
Four people have been arrested in connection with the case on Thursday, a day after the video surfaced.
“The state police is making all-out efforts to arrest the other culprits at the earliest. Raids are continuing,” the Manipur Police said in a Twitter post.
More than 160 people have lost their lives, and several 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. (PTI)