Speaking to the media, Jeevanmala said the two minors must get justice as they are living in a state of psycho-social trauma and the family facing social stigma. Financial compensation is not enough for the minors.
It may be recalled seven youths abducted two girls pillion riding with their respective boyfriends in the night of April 14 and gang-raped them at Phaknung in Imphal East. One of the accused is in police custody while the six others are lodged at juvenile home.
“If the seven rapists are not punished several similar cases will come up in future. The State government must ensure speedy trial and prompt delivery of justice. To get justice in the case, Child Welfare Committee, Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS), National Commission for Women with the Social welfare department concerned must also cooperate for justice and take relevant actions against the rapists at the earliest,” Jeevanmala demanded.
The mass rally was participated by different ethnic groups from both hills and valley. The protest march began from Khunthokhanbi hall, Thangmeiband and after passing through North AOC, Khongang Ani Karak, Dingko road, Lamlong, Telepati it culminated at the starting point.
The protesters carried banners reading “We demand justice for the minor survivors, punish the rapists”, “Is gang-rape a symbol of women empowerment” and placards reading “Don’t tell your daughter not to go out, tell your sons to behave properly”, “Questioning women exercising their space in gender politics promotes, rape culture” were also seen.
The protesters also chanted slogans like “rapists defenders must be punished,” “no place for rapists in Manipur etc.”
After the rally ended a public meeting was held. In the meeting several activists from different places of the state expressed strong resentment at the incident and demanded stern action against the rapists.
Addressing the meeting, Devan Sharma, president of AMUCO said under the provision of law without delay people who are committing rape, torture etc. must be punished immediately.
“Without delay police must submit charge-sheet to the Court. Keeping aside caste and creed the local meira paibies and social welfare department must cooperate in solving the case. Severe punishment should be meted out in such crimes so that they are not repreated in the future,” he demanded.
Rights activist, Th Ramani Devi said life imprisonment is not enough for such brutal crimes instead they need more severe punishment. For the betterment of future she demanded justice and to take appropriate action against the rapists. “If the culprits are set free more women will be victimised,” she cautioned.
Sunil Karam, vice-president of United Committee Manipur said the brutal incident is strongly condemned. The victim’s family and the core committee must take a firm stand until the culprits are punished. He further said if severe punishment is not given then there is a fear of repeating such crimes repeatedly.
“Leaders of the state must not take this issue lightly because the incident may cause friction between communities,” Sunil warned.