Over a decade later, Teresa Rehman returns to the 12 women who stripped in protest against Afspa in Manipura law that is still in force
At 10am on 15 July 2004, 12 angry women—some of them over 60—stood in front of the Kangla Fort in Imphal, stripped off their clothes and, shaking the gates, shouted: “Indian Army Rape Us. Eat our Flesh." It was a protest unheard of before (or even after) anywhere in India and, certainly, in conservative Manipur. But the Meira Paibis, or women torchbearers of Manipur, had reason to be angry, so angry that they wanted to jolt the system. Another hunger strike or silent march was not good enough. They were responding to a new level of depravity of the army and wanted a new language of resistance.