Indian police arrest 4 in rape of women who were paraded naked through street before assault

Prime Minister Narendra Modi called the assaults unforgiveable

Indian authorities arrested four people Thursday in connection with two women who were paraded naked by a mob in the State of Manipur, India, and raped

Manipur police said four individuals had been arrested in the "heinous crime of abduction and gangrape" seen on a viral video. 

Police said the assault on the two women occurred May 4 — a day after deadly ethnic clashes broke out in the state. According to a police complaint filed May 18, the two women were part of a family attacked by a mob that killed its two male members. The complaint alleges rape and murder by "unknown miscreants."

A video showing the assaults triggered massive outrage and was widely shared on social media late Wednesday. The video shows two naked women surrounded by scores of young men who grope their genitals and drag them to a field.   

India Prime Minister Narendra Modi broke his silence on the issue Thursday, calling the assaults of two women unforgivable.

"The guilty will not be spared. What has happened to the daughters of Manipur can never be forgiven," Modi told reporters before a parliamentary session as he made his first public comments related to the Manipur conflict. 


Modi urged heads of state governments to ensure the safety of women and said the incident was "shameful for any civilized nation."

"My heart is filled with pain and anger," he said.

The ethnic violence depicted in the video comes amid the backdrop of a near-civil war in Manipur, where mobs have rampaged through villages and torched houses, leaving more than 130 people dead since May.

indian police arrest 4 in rape of women who were paraded naked through street before assault

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks as he arrives on the opening day of the monsoon session of the Indian parliament in New Delhi, India, Thursday, July 20, 2023.  (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

The conflict was sparked by an affirmative action controversy in which Christian Kukis protested a demand from the mostly Hindu Meiteis for a special status that would let them buy land in the hills populated by Kukis, and other tribal groups and get a share of government jobs.


The clashes have persisted despite the army's presence in Manipur, a state of nearly 4 million people divided into two ethnic zones. The warring factions have also formed armed militias, and isolated villages are still raked with gunfire. More than 60,000 people have fled to packed relief camps. 

The women who were raped are from the Kuki-Zo community, according to the Indigenous Tribal Leaders' Forum, a tribal organization in Manipur. One of them told The Associated Press that the men who raped the women were part of a Meitei mob that had earlier torched their village.

indian police arrest 4 in rape of women who were paraded naked through street before assault

Fortifications made of bamboo in the shape of spears are placed at checkpoint at a de facto frontline dissecting the area into two ethnic zones in Churachandpur, the northeastern Indian state of Manipur, Tuesday, June 20, 2023.  (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

"They forced us to remove our clothes and said we will be killed if we don't do as told. Then they made us walk naked. They abused us. They touched us everywhere … on our breasts, our genitals," she said. 

The woman said the duo was then led into a field where they were both sexually assaulted. The two women are now safe in a refugee camp.

Last week, the European Parliament adopted a resolution calling on Indian authorities to take action to stop the violence in Manipur and protect religious minorities, especially Christians. India's foreign ministry condemned the resolution, describing it as "interference" in its internal affairs. 

Bradford Betz is a Fox News Digital breaking reporter covering crime, political issues, and much more. 

Authored by Bradford Betz via FoxNews July 20th 2023