₹5 crore released for women survivors of sexual assault, other crimes in Manipur, SC told

State’s affidavit says there were no reports of vandalising or destruction of religious buildings in Noney and Senapati districts till date

November 20, 2023 08:15 pm | Updated November 21, 2023 10:13 am IST - New Delhi:

People from Manipur stage a protest against the ongoing ethnic violence in the state, at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi. File

People from Manipur stage a protest against the ongoing ethnic violence in the state, at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi. File | Photo Credit: PTI

The Manipur government on November 20 informed the Supreme Court that ₹5 crore has been credited to a dedicated bank account to disburse compensation to women who are survivors of sexual assault and other crimes committed since May 3, when ethnic violence erupted in the State. The affidavit filed by the State government did not state the number of women compensated so far.

The affidavit said that as per the latest report from the Deputy Commissioners of Noney and Senapati districts, the exercise for identification of religious districts was complete and there were no reports of vandalising or destruction of religious buildings in the said two districts till date.

Also Read | Manipur ethnic violence | In an armed conflict, the war on women

Earlier in September, the court had ordered the State government to “immediately identify all religious buildings in the State which would include churches, Hindu temples, Sanamahi temples, mosques and any building of any other religion, whether existing at present or vandalised/damaged/burnt in the violence” which started on May 3 and asked that sites of these religious buildings be protected from encroachment and destruction.

Short affidavit

In response to this order, the State government’s latest submission said that a “short affidavit” dated October 16 had already been filed indicating the steps taken by the State for identification of religious buildings in all the 16 districts. “It was further submitted that inspection of religious sites could not be completed in Noney and Senapati districts due to the prevailing circumstances.”

The short affidavit merely stated that “directions for identification of all religious buildings in the State [existing or vandalised] have been issued.”

In August, the State had informed the apex court that “a total of 386 religious institutions of both the communities have suffered damage subject to further assessment which is on-going.”

Also Read | Manipur Police file case against Kuki Zo leader for ‘self-rule’ statement 

At least 180 people have been killed in the ethnic violence between the tribal Kuki-Zo and the Meitei people since May 3.

According to a status report filed by the State in the apex court in August, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was asked to probe 20 cases pertaining to molestation, rape and murder of women.

On the directions of the Supreme Court, the Manipur government notified an upgraded compensation scheme for women victims and survivors of sexual assault and other crimes in September.

Also Read | Manipur May 4 sexual violence survivors recount horrific ordeal, including begging policemen for help, in their statements to the police

The compensation for victims who have lost their lives or those who have been gangraped ranges from ₹5 lakh to ₹10 lakh. For other crimes, including rape, sexual assault, and injuries such as loss of limbs or body parts, compensation amounts vary from ₹1 lakh to ₹9 lakh.

Two killed in ambush

Meanwhile, an Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB) personnel and his driver were killed when their vehicle was ambushed by armed miscreants in Kangpokpi district on Monday, a defence source said. The deceased were identified as Henminlen Vaiphei and his driver Thangminlun Hangshing. Mr. Vaiphei was posted at the Leimakhong police station.

The Committee on Tribal Unity (COTU) declared an emergency shutdown in Kangpokpi district as a mark of protest. The defence source said Assam Rifles was deployed in the area and teams had been mobilised to identify the suspects.

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