Imphal Free Press journalist Babie Shirin and three other journalists from Manipur were on Wednesday awarded the WAD Gender Journalists Award 2020 during a consultative meeting on “Gender Based Violence in Manipur” organised by the Women Action for Development. The other three awardees from Manipur are Usham Joyshree of Impact TV News, Ngangom Surajkumar Singh of Sanaleibak Daily, and Sapam Aruna Devi of The Sangai Express.
A consultative meeting on “Gender Based Violence in Manipur” was held at the Hotel Imphal, Imphal West on Wednesday in connection with WAD’s 16 days of activism against gender-based violence.
Speaking at the occasion, retired district and sessions judge A Noutuneshwari expressed the need of having a separate investigation team of Manipur Police, apart from the enforcement team for smooth and fair investigation of a case.
Noutuneshwari, who is now a legal practitioner at the High Court of Manipur, pointed out that there are certain delays in the investigation of a case, as the team of investigation officers are sometimes deployed in VVIP duties, which is very frequent in the state. Moreover, they are not given adequate vehicles and fuel for transportation purposes, she added.
Stating that witness and evidence are the main components to convict a culprit, she asserted that due to negligence and lack of punctuality during the investigation, many drug lords and criminals are now living scout free.
The many newly recruited IOs have very low knowledge of the investigation process as they are not given proper reformation courses, added the retired judge.
Talking on gender-based violence, Noutuneshwari said that the victim of such gender-based violence is not always a woman but a male or third gender.
Everyone comes out on the street only when a gender-based crime takes place seeking justice for the victim, but no one raises his or her voice to prevent it from happening, she asserted.
Giving social education and reformation by conducting various awareness programmes in every nook and corner of the state will be the key to prevent such crime, she suggested.
When a woman has good knowledge about her rights, it will be a lot easier for her to protect herself from getting sexual assaulted by a single individual, she said.
If there is no lapse in the investigation of the case, justice can be delivered in no time, she said citing the three death sentences given by her while she was a judge of a lower court.
Noutuneshwari appealed, “Let us maintain the rule of the law, as a society in a democratic country will be a developed society without any hideous crime only when the rule of law is properly maintained.”
The function was also attended by SDPO of Singjamei police station Luxmi Thingbaijam, lecturer of SK Women College Priyadarshini Gangte and senior social worker Kh Jeevanmala as presidium members.