’Congress is a mute spectator to killings of people in Bengal’: Smriti Irani

Union Minister Smriti Irani criticizes Congress for being silent on issues like violence in West Bengal, a half-naked video from Malda, and violence against women in Rajasthan. This comes as her government faces backlash for not addressing ethnic clashes in Manipur.

Staff Writer
First Published22 Jul 2023
Union Minister Smriti Irani during the Monsoon session of Parliament.
Union Minister Smriti Irani during the Monsoon session of Parliament.(Hindustan Times)

Union Minister Smriti Irani has taken a dig at the Congress party for remaining a "mute spectator" on issues such as violence during West Bengal Panchayat poll, a half-naked video from Malda, and violence against women in Rajasthan.

Irani's statement against Congress and the opposition has come as her government is facing backlash for remaining deaf ears with regard to the Manipur situation where ethnic clashes are going on for more than 70 days.

Irani on Saturday said, "This (Manipur viral video) issue is not only sensitive but has implications with regard to national security and is known to the opposition leaders. However, the opposition did not want to discuss the issue on the floor of the Parliament. What is extremely alarming is that yesterday, from the state of Rajasthan, a minister spoke up on crime against women in the state, he was unceremoniously dismissed by the Congress. Equally shocking is a video that is emanating from West Bengal's Malda where two Dalit women are being beaten & stripped. Congress did not want to hear the truth about atrocities against women in the state of Rajasthan...Congress is a mute spectator to the killings of people during the West Bengal Panchayat elections all because it is hungry for collaboration with TMC".

Yesterday, "INDIA" placards appeared in the Lok Sabha with members of the newly formed opposition alliance waving them as they pressed for a statement from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the situation in Manipur.

"Manipur is burning, PM speak about it" read a placard waved by a Congress member in the well of the House.

The opposition alliance is scheduled to stage a joint dharna near the Gandhi statue in the Parliament complex on Monday.

The northeastern state of Manipur has been engulfed in ethnic violence since May 3, when a 'Tribal Solidarity March' was organised in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community's demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.

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

More than 160 people have lost their lives and several have been injured in the violence so far. Recently, a shock from the violence-hit state has jolted the country, showing two women being paraded naked by a mob.

One of the women seen in the video is the wife of an ex-army man who had served in the Indian Army as a Subedar of the Assam Regiment and even fought in the Kargil War.

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