SC Expresses Serious Concern over Manipur Viral Video Case: Calls for Urgent Action to Protect Women
In a significant development, the Supreme Court of India has taken cognizance of the Manipur viral video case, which shocked the nation when it surfaced in July. The video depicted the horrifying incident of two Kuki Zo women being paraded naked by a mob of Meitei men, igniting massive public outrage. In the wake of accusations surrounding the Manipur authorities’ delayed response, the highest court has issued a directive, compelling both the Central and Manipur governments to swiftly implement remedial, rehabilitative, and preventive actions. In this article, we delve into the details of the court’s hearing, highlighting key quotes and the urgency to address violence against women.
The Disturbing Incident
The Manipur viral video, capturing an appalling incident of sexual harassment, occurred on May 4 but only came to light in July, leading to nationwide protests. Critics accused the Manipur Police and Chief Minister N Biren Singh’s government of not taking swift action. The case has also turned into a battleground between the Opposition INDIA bloc and the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), with both sides blaming each other for their response to crimes against women.
Supreme Court’s Hearing
A bench comprising Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justice J B Pardiwala, and Justice Manoj Misra took up the Manipur viral video case on Monday, displaying deep concern over the rising violence against women in the region. The court called for expedited action on ethnic violence crimes in Manipur and urged the government to provide information on several crucial factors, including the number of arrests, the status of legal aid to the accused, and the registration of FIRs since May.
Key Quotes from the Hearing
Legal Aid and Victim Support: The Supreme Court questioned the Indian and Manipur governments about the kind of legal aid being provided to the victims, emphasizing the importance of supporting and protecting the affected women.
Systemic Violence and CJI’s Concern: Chief Justice Chandrachud highlighted the unprecedented magnitude of violence against women in communal and sectarian strife. He underscored that such heinous acts cannot be justified by comparing them with incidents elsewhere, stating that the administration must protect all women equally.
Message from the Court-Appointed Team: The Supreme Court expressed the need for restoring faith in the administration, especially in the face of systemic violence. To convey a strong message, the court-appointed team will be sent, comprising officers with no political alignment.
Urgent Need for Healing: The court stressed the urgency of addressing the situation, calling for a “healing touch” in the state to alleviate the suffering caused by violence against women.
Police Inaction and Handing Over to Rioting Crowd: The court expressed dismay over the police’s handling of the incident, stating that the women in the viral video were handed over to a rioting crowd by the police, which is a horrendous act in itself.
Delayed FIR Registration: The Supreme Court questioned the authorities about the delayed registration of the FIR in the video case. The incident occurred on May 4, but the FIR was registered only on May 18. The court sought an explanation for the police’s inaction during this period.
The Manipur viral video case has struck a chord with the nation, prompting widespread concern and outrage over the escalating violence against women. The Supreme Court’s intervention in this matter is crucial in ensuring timely action and holding the authorities accountable. As the court urges the government to take immediate measures and initiate a broad mechanism to deal with violence against women, it is hoped that the necessary steps will be taken to bring justice to the victims and prevent such atrocities in the future.