Context: The Indian Army’s Spear Corps accused women activists in Manipur of obstructing routes and interfering in security operations amid ongoing rioting and unrest in the state. About Meira Paibis of Manipur:
- The most visible organised face of civil society actions have been the Meira Paibis or women torch bearers, so called because of the flaming torches that they hold aloft while marching in the streets, often at night.
- The Meira Paibis are also known as Imas or Mothers of Manipur, and represent a powerful moral force.
- They are loosely organised, usually led by groups of senior women, but have no rigid hierarchy or structure, or any overt political leanings.
- The Meira Paibi was formed in 1977.
- It is considered as one of the largest grassroots movements in the world.
- Its initial focus of fighting alcoholism and drug abuse has now expanded to countering human rights violations and the development of society at large.
- The Meira Paibis have led numerous social and political movements in the state, including some powerful protests against alleged atrocities by Indian security forces.