The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will conduct probe into the incident in which two Manipuri women belonging to Kuki tribe were seen paraded naked and being molested, the Central government told the Supreme Court on Thursday.
The Central government has zero tolerance towards crimes against women and heinous offence like the present one will be taken seriously and justice will be done so that it has a deterrent effect across the nation, the government submitted.
"This is one of the reasons why the Central government with the consent of the State government has taken the decision to entrust the investigation to an independent investigating agency i.e. CBI," it was submitted on affidavit.
The Central government assured that the investigation will be completed at the earliest and trial will be held in a time bound manner.
Pertinently, the trial must take place outside the State of Manipur, the government said.
Hence, it requested the apex court to pass directions to transfer the probe to a State other than Manipur.
The affidavit was filed in response to a suo motu case registered by the apex court after the video of the horrific incident went viral on social media triggering outrage.
The bench comprising Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Justices PS Narasimha and Manoj Misra had, on July 20, sought the responses of the Central and State governments on the steps taken by it to book the perpetrators.
The affidavit filed by the Ministry of Home Affairs also said that at least seven accused have been arrested in connection with the incident and are currently in police custody.
They have been booked for various offences including rape and murder, the affidavit further said.
The current clashes and violence in Manipur has stemmed from the opposition of certain tribes to the demand by the majority Meitei community to grant them Scheduled Tribes status.
On April 19, 2023, Manipur High Court had ordered the Manipur government to “consider inclusion of the Meetei/Meitei community in the Scheduled Tribe list, expeditiously, preferably within a period four weeks” from the date of the order.
This led to clashes between tribal and non-tribal communities.
The horrific video of two women being paraded naked and molested had gone viral on social media.
The clip shows the two women being paraded naked by a mob of men and molested as they move towards a paddy field.
According to Mint, the incident happened on May 4 and the women were gang raped by the mob.