Karachi, July 22, 2023 - The National Christian Party (NCP) held a peaceful demonstration outside the Karachi Press Club to stand in solidarity with the Christian community in Manipur, India. This protest was sparked by a horrific incident in which two young Christian girls were stripped and publicly paraded before being gang-raped by members of a Hindu extremist group. The same group was responsible for the murder of the girls' father and brother.
The protesters called upon the Indian government to take immediate action against those responsible for the heinous crimes. NCP President, Mr. Shabbir Shafqat, led the demonstration, pointing out the role of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his administration in the incident. The apparent silence of the United Nations and western countries was also a point of criticism.
Notable attendees included NCP executive members Mr. Javed Iqbal, Mr. Peter Taj, Mr. Raymond Patrick, and Ms. Babra. Demonstrators carried placards condemning violence against India's Christian community and criticizing Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his administration.
The Manipur assault occurred on May 4, 2023, when two men and three women from the Kuki community were attempting to flee violence in the Kangpokpi district. The group was allegedly rescued by a police team who were then ambushed by a mob. According to a police complaint lodged by a relative of one of the victims, the mob murdered the two men and forced the women to disrobe. The complaint states that one woman, aged 21, was brutally gang-raped in broad daylight, while the other two managed to escape.
Following the incident, a video depicting the sexual violence went viral. Reports suggest that the violence was fueled by fake news about the rape and murder of a Meitei woman, triggering a vicious cycle of retaliatory violence against Kuki tribal women by alleged Meitei mobs.
Former Uttar Pradesh police chief, Vikram Singh, has described the incident as "shameful," posing serious questions about the police and administrative system in place.
Manipur, a northeastern Indian state home to approximately 3.3 million people, has been embroiled in escalating violence since May 2023. The conflicts, primarily between the Meitei and Kuki communities, have led to at least 130 deaths, 400 injuries, and the displacement of over 60,000 people. The region has witnessed rampant looting, destruction of religious buildings, and widespread displacement.