- Police say, “Four main accused in the viral video case have been arrested.”
- The suspects were identified from a video clip of the incident.
- It is shown in the video that she is roaming naked on the road and the crowd is harassing her.
Indian police have arrested four men accused of parading two women naked in front of a crowd in the northeastern state of Manipur, where at least 120 people have been killed in months of ethnic violence.
The suspects were identified from a video clip of the incident that took place in early May that went viral on social media on Wednesday, sparking outrage across the country.
“Four main accused arrested in viral video case,” Manipur Police said on Twitter late on Thursday.
Video clips show women walking naked on the street, being jeered and harassed by mobs in the state, where authorities have shut down the internet.
Manipur’s state government, led by the ruling Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), said police took action after the video surfaced on social media more than two months after the incident.
State Chief Minister N Biren Singh tweeted that a “thorough investigation” was underway.
“We will ensure that strict action is taken against all perpetrators, including the possibility of the death penalty,” he added.
The incident took place at the beginning of violence in Manipur, sparked by a dispute over access to government jobs and other perks.
Homes and churches were torched, with thousands fleeing to government-run camps.
Clashes between vigilante gangs of rival communities have continued intermittently, pitting the Meitei, who are mostly Hindu and live in and around Imphal, against the predominantly Christian Kuki in the surrounding hills.
In a detailed report to the court in June, civil society group Manipur Tribal Forum said several gruesome acts of violence, including rape and beheading, had not been investigated by state authorities.
One such incident surfaced on Twitter on Thursday, purportedly showing an aide of a BJP MLA in the state holding the severed head of a victim and disappearing from the stage within hours.
The Kuki community has resisted Meitei’s demands for reserved public job quotas and college admissions in the form of affirmative action, which has long led to fears that they may also be allowed to acquire land in areas currently reserved for tribal groups.
Facing criticism from opposition MPs, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said in his first public comments on the violence that the country was “ashamed” by the incident.
The Supreme Court of India also warned the Modi government that if it does not act, “we will”.