Women vendors of Tera Lukram Leirak Keithel Phambi Imasing on Tuesday held a sit-in-protest, demanding legal action against a police official who physically assaulted a woman vendor in Imphal West district, while the Women Committee of United NGO’s Mission Manipur also sought investigation into the matter by concerned authorities.
Speaking to the media, one woman vendor Keithelakpam Ongbi Margaret said that a 65-year-old widow vendor was physically abused by a police officer on September 4 at around 8:30 pm at Tera Lukram Leirak in Imphal West. Following the incident, the woman vendor was admitted at Shija Hospitals, Langol.
The woman sells vegetables at the Tera Lukram Keithel where the incident happened. The victim has been identified as one Ningthoujam Mangolnganbi Devi (65), wife of (L) N Babuchouba of Tera Khuraijam Leirak, and the accused police officer as one Haobijam Babuchouba Singh (SI of Telecom) from Tera Sapam Leirak, currently working as a Sub Inspector in the Police Wireless Department.
Another vendor, Yambem Rangana, said that SI Babuchouba arrived at the place to buy vegetables in an inebriated condition and started speaking abusive and offensive words. The victim told Babuchouba to go home and rest as he was drunk, following which the SI started to physically assault the old lady, even trying to strangulate the victim. Babuchouba even threatened to kill the old lady and repeatedly kicked the old lady who was lying in a pool of blood, she added.
Babuchouba boasted about coming from a wealthy family and having lots of agricultural produce and questioned if someone like her (the victim) could ask him to go home, she said.
Yambem Rangana also said that the incident happened when there was no one around the area as it was getting late and taking advantage of it, Babuchouba assaulted the old lady without any intervention. Luckily, Mangolnganbi was saved by a passerby.
Vendors drew the attention of the chief minister and other concerned authorities and appealed for suspending the officer with appropriate legal action.
Meanwhile, the Women Committee of United NGO’s Mission Manipur has strongly condemned the physical assault on the woman vendor.
Following a fact finding, the Women Committee has urged all organisations, clubs, Meira paibis to not come to a settlement through negotiation on such cases as there exist rule of law, stated the committee in a release.
For several years, police have been viewed as individuals who are supposed to provide protection and safety to the people. Assault is not only about causing harm, but includes threats and verbal attacks as well. A person in uniform must respect senior citizens, it said.
In spite of all development and growth, women are still victims of horrendous crimes. Even after several legislatives and other measures by the government, the rate of crime against women is not declining, they added.
The Women committee urged the concerned authorities to look into the matter and initiate investigation and necessary steps to sentence the culprit, the release stated.