New Delhi, 20 July 2023
The Indian government is set to take action against Twitter after a disturbing video from Manipur surfaced on social media. The video showed two women being paraded naked and molested by a group of men, triggering widespread outrage and condemnation.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has also issued warnings to social media platforms, emphasizing compliance with new IT rules that uphold freedom of expression with "reasonable restrictions."
According to government sources, the circulation of videos that could potentially incite law and order problems is strictly prohibited under the law. An order to initiate action against Twitter for non-compliance with the regulations was issued recently, and the IT ministry is actively working across platforms to prevent further circulation of the video.
The appalling video depicts the brutal treatment of two women who were dragged to a field and allegedly gang-raped by a mob. The incident occurred on May 4, a day after clashes erupted between the Meitei and Kuki tribes in Manipur over the Meiteis' demand for Scheduled Tribes (ST) status.
The ethnic violence has resulted in over 120 deaths, with thousands being internally displaced and seeking refuge in relief camps. In response to the viral video, the police have arrested one of the men involved, while further investigations are underway to identify and apprehend the others responsible for the heinous crime.
"We have identified the men and will arrest them soon," assured a senior police officer on Wednesday. The survivors of the gang-rape incident came forward to report the crime approximately 15 days after the horrific assault. The police are diligently pursuing leads and have already ordered a thorough investigation into the matter, as stated by Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh.
The incident has prompted opposition parties to raise questions about the state's governance, with the BJP, which is in power in Manipur, coming under particular scrutiny. The opposition highlighted the disturbing incident during the monsoon session of parliament, demanding a statement from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In response to the situation, Prime Minister Modi expressed his deep anguish and anger over the video. "I want to assure the nation, no guilty will be spared. Action will be taken according to the law. What happened to the daughters of Manipur can never be forgiven," he stated before the session.