On 31 May 2015, Ruisoting ‘Mary’ Aimol was shot and killed by members of the military in Satu village, Manipur. Aimol was a lifelong human rights defender and social activist. She had been the president of Numei Waar, a women’s rights group and was chairperson of the Women’s Secular Body in Chandel district. She was also one of the promoters of WinG (Women in Governance), Manipur. WinG Manipur is a network of women across communities and ethnic lines working on human rights issues, HIV/ AIDS, conflict resolution, and child trafficking.
In the days leading up to the incident the villagers were repeatedly harassed by the 20th Battalion of Assam Rifles led by Major Aditya Kapoor. The soldiers dragged various men from their homes, accusing them of receiving military training in neighbouring Myanmar. Guns were also allegedly planted around the village.
Things came to a head on the 31 May when Kapoor and the Assam Rifles again visited the village. One of the soldiers wore a mask and the villagers demanded he reveal his identity. They then attempted to remove the mask from the man’s face and the soldiers began firing indiscriminately. Aimol was shot and three other women activists were severely beaten by the military personnel. She was taken to hospital where she later succumbed to her wounds. Human rights group, HRD-Alert India, reports that the fatal bullet seen in the X-ray was missing by the time of the post-mortem.
The Manipur government has pledged compensation for Aimol’s family as well as punishment for the soldier.