Glory’s village was attacked and her father and brother were pulled away by the mob
BBC News, Manipur
Six months after they were stripped, paraded naked and allegedly gang raped by a mob in north-east India, two women, whose ordeal was made public in a viral video, talk to the BBC in their first face-to-face interview. They speak about living in hiding, their fight for justice and their call for a separate administration for their community.
At first, all I see is their lowered eyes.
Big black masks hide Glory and Mercy’s faces and scarves cover their foreheads.
The two Kuki-Zomi women do not want to be seen. But they want to be heard.
Their ordeal was filmed and shared online. It is a disturbing watch. Less than a minute long, it shows a mob of men from the majority Meitei community in Manipur state walking around two naked women, pushing, groping them, and then dragging them into a field where they say they were gang raped.
“I was treated like an animal,” says Glory, breaking down. “It was hard enough to live with that trauma, but then two months later when the video of the attack went viral, I almost lost all hope to continue living,” she adds.
“You know how Indian society is, how they look at women after such an incident,” says Mercy. “I find it hard to face other people, even in my own community. My pride is gone. I will never be the same again.”
The video amplified their suffering but it also became evidence of injustice because it brought attention to the ethnic clashes between the Meitei and Kuki communities that broke out in Manipur in May. But while the video sparked outrage and spurred action, the spotlight made the women retreat further.
Before they were attacked, Glory was a student and Mercy filled her days taking care of her two young children, helping them with homework and going to church. But after the attack both women had to flee to a different town where they are now living in hiding.