TODAY -

Lack of proper investigation and protection in gangrape case of a minor girl in Manipur
Date : 09th May 2018



ISSUES: Sexual Assault, Rape, Political Influence, Delay, Child Sexual Assault, POCSO

Dear Friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information from the Youth’s Forum for Protection of Human Rights (YFPHR) in Manipur, regarding the gangrape of a minor girl in Thanga.

CASE NARRATIVE:

On 13 February 2018, at around 4:30 p.m., a 14-year old girl Tina, (name changed), was invited to meet her friend Boi by another man, Jim (names changed) whom she had met through the former. Jim called her out on the pretext that Boi would be out of station for a while, and that they meet him before he leaves. She agreed to such a proposition by Jim, believing it to be in good faith.

When she was walking with Jim, they met with Boi who, after she told him that she had to leave because her sister will be waiting for her, caught her by her hand when she tried to leave. He asked her to stay for a while, and she started to scream in protest. They got into a heated fight, and in that moment, she was pushed into a van that had been speeding towards them. With the help of two persons inside the van, Boi and Jim pulled her into it. Though she tried to escape, she was caught by the four men who stopped her, one even slapping her. Then, she was allegedly drugged, thus rendering her unconscious.

In the meantime, Tina’s family members were searching for her, but did not report her missing to the police as they suspected that she might have eloped. Later, it was revealed by the victim that though her body was in an unconscious state, her mind was still conscious and she was aware about what was being done to her. The van took her to the house of one of the accused. The accused then took her to the isolated area of the Laisanahal Mathak Thanga where she was molested and raped by the kidnappers. The men then threw her out of the van, thinking that she was dead. However, she survived, and at 10 p.m. on the same day, she managed to crawl to the house of the caretaker of the Thanga Government High School in Thanga Salam Heiga. She was found in a semi-nude condition and showed signs of sexual assault. Her family was informed, and she was taken to her residence in such a state.

The family filed a formal complaint on February 14, that Tina had been missing and how she was found. The complaint was registered, and the accused were booked under Sections 363, 354-B and 34 of the Indian Penal Code, without complying with the provisions of the Protection of Children Against Sexual Offences Act of 2012 (POCSO), although it was well known that the victim was a minor.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

All of the three accused belong to ‘Heisnam’ and are from the same locality. The officer-in-charge of the Women Police BPR is also a ‘Heisnam’ and is from the same locality of Thunga Heisnam Leikai as well. It is important to note that the prime suspect’s (Boi’s) parents are allegedly close friends with the current Superintendent of Police of Bishnupur, which may have resulted in the matter not being taken up swiftly. He is also from the same region of Thanga that the accused are from. One among the two persons who are still absconding is said to be the brother-in-law of an influential political leader in the area. The police have even mentioned the presence of a political influence keeping them from making the arrests of the two persons.

Two amongst the three already arrested have been found listed on the electoral rolls, thereby proving the majority of their ages, mentioned as 17-19 and 19-20 years respectively. Thus, the case must be moved to an adult court. It should also be noted that the police only conducted the on-spot investigation on April 12, after there was sufficient time for the evidence to disappear. There is no effort made to locate the van in which the girl was kidnapped or to find the rest of the absconding culprits.

On April 21, the YFPHR along with other local activists and the family members of the victim, organised a protest and sit-in in front of the Juvenile Justice Board in Maibam Lokpa Ching, Bishnupur with a list of demands of the state administration including termination of the police officers for not arresting the 4th accused, and action against the local politician who is allegedly protecting the accused. They also protested the action of the Investigating Officer who allegedly psychologically harassed the victim’s family.

SUGGESTED ACTION:

The AHRC calls for quick action on the matter and asks for the State to arrest the political leader influencing the investigation and to arrest the absconding culprits and recover the van used in kidnapping the girl. The victim and her family must be provided with protection as there is a threat to their lives and security. The AHRC is writing a separate letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, its causes and consequences, calling for her intervention into this matter.

To support this case, please click here:


Dear ___________,

INDIA: Lack of proper investigation and protection in gangrape case of a minor girl in Manipur

Name of victim: Names changed to respect privacy.

Names of alleged perpetrators: Names changed to respect privacy.

Date of incident: 13 February 2018.

Place of incident: Laisanahal Mathak, Thanga, Bishnupur District, Manipur.

I am writing to voice my deep concern regarding the information received from the Youth’s Forum for Protection of Human Rights(YFPHR) and the Asian Human Rights Commission(AHRC) about the delay in arresting the suspects in the heinous rape of a minor girl in the Thanga region of Manipur.

According to the details of the case, a minor girl, aged 14 years, was allegedly subjected to rape by four men after being drugged. She was later thrown out of a van, leaving her for dead. When she came to her senses, she had crawled her way in search of help and reached the caretaker of a government high school. She was found in a semi-nude and distressed state.

When a complaint of this incident was given to the police, they did not act on the matter as promptly as they should have. According to the YFPHR, they are under the influence and fear of a local political leader. One of the accused is the brother-in-law of the said leader. Therefore, the YFPHR has alleged that there has been an undue delay in the investigation and arrests of all the accused.

Two amongst the three already arrested have been found listed on the electoral rolls, thereby proving the majority of their ages, mentioned as 17-19 and 19-20 years respectively. Thus, the case must be moved to an adult court. It should also be noted that the police only conducted the on-spot investigation on April 12, after there was sufficient time for the evidence to disappear. There is no effort made to locate the van in which the girl was kidnapped or to find the rest of the absconding culprits.

On April 21, the YFPHR along with other local activists and the family members of the victim, organised a protest and sit-in in front of the Juvenile Justice Board in Maibam Lokpa Ching, Bishnupur with a list of demands of the state administration including termination of the police officers for not arresting the 4th accused, and action against the local politician who is allegedly protecting the accused. They also protested the action of the Investigating Officer who allegedly psychologically harassed the victim’s family.

At a time when there are mounting cases coming to light about the atrocities meted out against women and children in India, the State must be responsive, sensitive and swift in tackling the perpetrators. Thereby, I request you to take all possible legal action against the accused and bring justice to the minor girl and her family. The police must act on complaints filed in the police stations. There should be no bias in the investigation process and no room for any political influence.

Most importantly, the Government of Manipur must provide support to the girl and her family as there is still a threat to their lives. The Indian Government and state governments must be more proactive in protecting its people, and especially those who are vulnerable to such crimes.

Yours Sincerely,


PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:

1.Mr. L.M. Khaute
IPS Director General of Police (DGP),
Manipur Police Headquarters
Imphal -97500.
Manipur.
Tel: +91-0385-2451166
Fax: +91-0385-2449825
Email: dgp-mnp@nic.in

2. Justice HL Dattu
Chairperson,
National Human Rights Commission
Manav Adhikar Bhawan,
Block-C, GPO Complex, INA
New Delhi - 110 023.
Email: cr.nhrc@nic.in

3. Shri Rajnath Singh
Minister of Home Affairs
Room no 104, North Block, Central Secretariat
New Delhi – 110001.
Tel: +9111 23092462
Fax: +9111 23094221
Email: jscpg-mha@nic


Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (ua@ahrc.asia

Asian Human Rights Commission
G/F
52 Princess Margaret Road
Ho Man Tin, Kowloon
Hongkong S.A.R.
Tel: +(852) 2698-6339 Fax: +(852) 2698-6367
Web: www.humanrights.asia
twitter/youtube/facebook: humanrightsasia




* This information is sent to e-pao.net by Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) who can be contacted at www.humanrights.asia
This Post is webcasted on May 10 2018

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