Women protestors in large numbers on Friday staged sit-ins and formed human chains in various pockets of the valley, decrying the alleged gangrape of a 37-year-old woman by suspected Kuki miscreants in Churachandpur on May 3 and demanded authorities to handover the case to CBI for investigation and mete out befitting legal punishments to the culprits involved in the heinous crime.
It may be mentioned that an FIR was registered at Bishnupur Women Police Station in connection with the alleged gang rape which occurred on May 3 in Churachandpur. According to the FIR, the incident occurred at Khumujama Leikai Churachandpur on May 3 at around 6.30 pm reportedly.
The Women's Police Station Bishnupur forwarded the FIR to Churachandpur Police Station for further necessary investigation. A case had been registered under u/s 376-D/354/120-B/34 IPC.
The FIR was registered after the Meitei woman victim filed a report complaining that she was gang-raped by unknown Kuki miscreants amid the May 3 chaos when she and others were reportedly trying to flee from their homes at Churachandpur. Following the FIR, a medical examination of the victim was also conducted.
Voicing dissent against the inhumane criminal act and attack on the dignity of Manipuri women, women vendors staged a sit-in at the historic landmark of Manipuri women, Khwairamband Ima Keithel demanding punishments of the culprits involved in the barbaric act while women of Poirei Leimarol Meira Paibi Apunba Manipur organised sit-ins at Khuyathong Andolan Keithel. Several sit-ins were also staged in Khurai-Lamlong, Sagolband, Uripok, Wangkhei, and Sinjamei-Kakwa areas among many others.
Meanwhile, women of the Checkon area formed a human chain starting from 11 am to show solidarity with the bereaved victim while also lambasting the authorities for remaining mute on the alleged rape.
Speaking to media on the sidelines of the protest, a protestor at Khwairamband Ima Keithel lambasted the authorities for selective outrage and condemnation of criminal acts meted out during the crisis and maintained that the roaring dissent against the alleged gangrape of Meitei women in Churachandpur would continue till the authorities meted out swift actions in connection with the case.
“All sections of the Manipuri society, including BJP leaders, voiced condemnation when the naked parade video of two Kuki women went viral but when the case of another sinister act has surfaced they have all turned mute,” she said.
She added that the mainlanders and even the prime minister were up in arms when the viral video surfaced but they do not have anything to say when the victim is a Meitei.
She decried such step-motherly treatment of the authorities regarding the case and maintained the Meitei women across Manipur would not remain still until the culprits were captured and punished.
Meanwhile, a protestor at Chaithabi Leirak Machin demanded authorities to swiftly hand over the case to CBI and begin necessary investigations to capture the culprits.
“All Manipuri women strongly condemn any form of attack on the dignity of women; we have and always will protest any heinous crime against women but the authorities’ lack of enthusiasm over the gangrape case is disheartening to all Manipuri women,” she said.
She demanded the authorities to hand over the case to an independent central investigation agency and punish the culprits involved.
Another protestor at Kiyamgei Pal Ahanbi questioned what the ministers and MLAs were doing when such a case surfaced.
“We feel ashamed for them; they are the people’s representatives but instead of acting like one they are busy making sure their prized political careers were not looted,” she added.
She stated that the people are on the verge of losing hope in the state government and maintained that the government’s handling of the present case would be the last straw to see if they were fit to continue their rule as authorities.