National

AAP Holds Protest Over Manipur Violence

More than 160 people have lost their lives, and several have been injured since ethnic violence broke out in Manipur on May 3.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal
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The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) held protests across various parts of the country over the situation in strife-torn Manipur.

AAP had said that it will stage protests across the country against the precarious situation in Manipur.

The party said it will hold a protest against alleged incidents of brutality against women in the northeastern state, reported PTI.

The party held a protest against Manipur violence at Jantar Mantar in Delhi.

AAP spokesperson Reena Gupta said that Manipur is not the first place where atrocities against women happened in India.

"There was Unnao, there was Kathua, there was Hathras. When the video (of two women in Manipur being stripped and paraded) went viral, the accused were arrested in hours.

"But in the case of Bilkis Bano, we all know what happened with the accused. While Manipur was burning, the prime minister was touring foreign nations. It angers me that it took three months to bring the perpetrators to justice. We will not allow such incidents to happen again," she said.

At the protest, Gupta said, "Nobody took responsibility for Manipur, nobody tendered their resignation and this is because they don't respect their mothers and daughters". 

"They talk about 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao' yet remain mum when such atrocities against two daughters took place," she alleged.

Delhi Cabinet ministers Gopal Rai and Saurabh Bharadwaj were also present at the protest. AAP MLA Dilip Pandey said the opposition is united in its stance against the Manipur situation.

"All opposition leaders and MPs are united in this fight and they have been protesting near the Gandhi statue there (on Parliament premises). Even though they tried silencing Sanjay Singh inside Parliament, they can't silence the truth outside.

"The prime minister is known for his oratory skills but when it comes to Manipur, he remained silent. He is unable to utter a word. Not just the Manipur chief minister, even the home minister should resign after these horrifying incidents in Manipur," Pandey said.

More than 160 people have lost their lives and several injured since ethnic violence broke out in Manipur on May 3 when a "Tribal Solidarity March" was organised in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community's demand for Scheduled Tribe status.

Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur's population and live mostly in the Imphal valley, while tribals, which include Nagas and Kukis, constitute 40 per cent and reside mostly in the hill districts.

Meanwhile, police stopped AAP workers with barricades as they tried to take out a march towards Punjab Governor House in Chandigarh to protest against the Manipur violence.

The Karnataka unit of AAP also staged a protest at the Freedom Park in Bengaluru against the ongoing violence in Manipur.

Earlier, Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) Chairperson Swati Paliwal arrived in the violence-hit state. 

Manipur has been in the grips of ethnic violence since May 3. More than 130 have been killed and several thousands have been displaced in the violence between the state's Meitei and tribal communities. Houses have been burnt, religious places have been attacked, and even establishments associated with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), such as the houses of ministers and leaders, have been attacked and set on fire. 

After reaching Manipur, Maliwal said that she has sought a meeting with Chief Minister N Biren Singh.  She also said that she also wants to meet sexual abuse victims and see if they got legal aid, counselling, or any compensation. 

Maliwal urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Zubin Irani to visit Manipur.

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