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World News

'The India we knew is fast disappearing': Bishop speaks out on viral video causing outrage

by Sophie Drew

The Indian Prime Minister has promised action after a video of two Christian women paraded naked by men from a Hindhu tribe before allegedly being gang raped went viral.

The ongoing religious persecution in Manipur, India, primarily targeting Christians, has escalated in recent months but government officials have seemed reticent to comment.

However, the video which is believed to be several months old has caused widespread outrage with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi forced to comment.

"My heart is filled with pain, it is filled with anger," Modi said at the end of customary comments he makes before the start of each session of parliament. "The incident from Manipur that has come to the fore, it is shameful for any civil society."

"The law will take its strongest steps, with all its might. What happened to the daughters of Manipur can never be forgiven," he said and urged chief ministers of all states to strengthen law enforcement.

The Indigenous Tribal Leaders' Forum reported that the gang rape incident took place after a village was burnt down and two men - one middle-aged and another teenager - were beaten to death by a mob.

The Indian authorities have now ordered a ban on anyone sharing the video.

In a statement to Premier, Bishop Joseph D'Souza of the Good Shepherd Church of India said: “A heart and conscience rending video of two Kuki Christian women forcibly taken from a police station, paraded naked, groped and manhandled, gang raped and then killed.  The India we knew is fast disappearing. Lord help us.”

Last week, R Vanramchhuanga, a senior BJP politician resigned over his party's failure to denounce violence against Christians.

In his resignation letter dated 13th July, Mr Vanramchhuanga criticised the lack of outrage from BJP leaders at both local and national levels over the destruction of 357 churches and buildings belonging to Christian organisations in Manipur by Meitei militants. 

He expressed his belief that there was political support for the violence against religious and ethnic minority groups. 

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