Woman alleges gang rape by Kuki men

Following her complaint, the police register an FIR; a memorandum demanding disarmament of civilians has been submitted to PM

Updated - August 11, 2023 03:38 am IST

Published - August 10, 2023 09:46 am IST - New Delhi

Police barricades are pictured on a deserted road at Torbung village in Churachandpur district in Manipur. File

Police barricades are pictured on a deserted road at Torbung village in Churachandpur district in Manipur. File | Photo Credit: Reuters

A 37-year-old woman approached the police in Manipur’s Bishnupur on Wednesday with a complaint that she was sexually assaulted on May 3 in Churachandpur district.

Following the complaint, a Zero First Information Report (FIR) was registered at the Bishnupur police station and transferred to the Churachandpur police station the same day. The FIR has been filed pseudonymously and the complaint does not bear the survivor’s signature.

The police have registered a case of gangrape, assault or criminal force to outrage the modesty of a woman with common intention against “unknown Kuki miscreants”.

According to the complaint, the incident took place at 6.30 p.m. on May 3, the day ethnic clashes erupted in Manipur following a tribal solidarity march.

“On May 3, around 6.30 p.m., the Kuki miscreants started burning down our house, including our neighbour’s houses. People started running for their lives. So, I carried my niece on the back and also held my two sons and started running from the spot along with my sister-in-law. She was also carrying a baby on her back and running ahead of me. Then, I stumbled and fell down on the road and was unable to get up when I ran about half a km from my place. My sister-in-law came back running towards me and picked up my niece from my back and ran along with my two sons as I insisted. Subsequently, when I finally managed to get up, some 5/6 Kuki miscreants got hold of me. Despite my resistance, I was forcefully pinned down. After this, the said men started sexually assaulting me...There was no help coming from anybody despite my cries for help. Thereafter some more Kuki miscreants joined them. At that time I lost my consciousness. Later when I regained my consciousness, I found myself in a house surrounded by some Meitei people,” the complaint said.

She said she did not disclose the incident to save the family’s honour and dignity and to avoid social ostracism. “The delay in filing this complaint is due to social stigma. But my health has deteriorated owing to the injuries I had sustained on the day of the incident....I was so depressed and annoyed that I even wanted to end myself.” She said she went to a hospital in Imphal on August 8 for a medical check-up.

A note presented by the Manipur government in the Supreme Court this week on “disaggregation” of 6,523 FIRs shows that one case of rape and murder (the victim was allegedly raped and murdered), three cases of rape/gang-rape, six cases of assault on a woman with intent to outrage her modesty, and 72 cases of murder had been registered as on July 31.

As many as 152 people have been killed in the ethnic violence between the tribal Kuki-Zo and Meitei community since May 3.

Memorandum to PM

Meanwhile, 40 legislators from Manipur, who include Meitei and Naga members, submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding complete disarmament of civilians and transfer of Assam Rifles (battalions 9, 22 and 37) from their present location, replacing them with “trustworthy Central forces along with State security.”

The MLAs demanded withdrawal of Suspension of Operation (SoO) pact with Kuki insurgent groups and pressed for compilation of National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Manipur.

“The issue must be addressed politically to resolve this conflict. There are many options that can be explored. On one hand, to reassure the indigenous people of Manipur, NRC can be implemented in Manipur, sooner rather than later. Biometric registrations of immigrants have started and these should be expanded and strengthened, the memorandum said.

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