TODAY -

Threats and harassment against woman human rights defender Sobita Mangsatabam

29 July 2019



On 24 July 2019, an off duty police officer brandishing a firearm, visited the office of Women’s Action for Development (WAD), a women’s rights organisation based in Imphal City, Manipur, and inquired about the whereabouts of its secretary, Sobita Mangsatabam. The same police officer had visited the WAD office on 21 July at around 8.30 pm, but failed to gain entry to the compound. It is believed that the threats against Sobita Mangsatabam and WAD are linked to their intervention in a domestic violence complaint filed against the said police officer by his wife in June 2019.

Sobita Mangstabam is a human rights defender in Manipur who has been working for the rights of women and girls in Manipur for over two decades. Her organisation, Women’s Action for Development aims to promote and protect the rights of women and girls, especially survivors of violence, including sexual violence.

Sobita Mangsatabam is also the Convenor of the District Women Committee (DWC) of United NGOs Mission Manipur (UNMM). Sobita Mangstabam is a strong advocate for accountability and justice for crimes of violence against women and girls. She provides support and protection for survivors and their families and has been vocal in her call for criminal justice reform to end impunity for violence against women.

On 24 July 2019, the police officer entered the compound in civilian clothes. He pulled out his firearm, held it close to his waist and questioned the caretaker about Sobita Mangsatabam’s whereabouts. The office was closed that day due to a ‘bandh’ or shut down in the city, and Sobita Mangsatabam and her staff had not reported to work.

The officer remained in the area for around 15 minutes after he spoke to the caretaker. The same officer had tried and failed to enter the compound on the night of 21 July 2019. The officer has been subsequently identified as Laimayum Bishwanath Sharma, a serving officer of the Manipur Police, who has been assigned as security to the local Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). The RSS is a right wing nationalist organisation with strong links to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Sobita Mangsatabam has since been informed by the police that officer Sharma has been arrested and suspended from service with immediate effect in connection to the threats her. The officer was produced before the Court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate Imphal East and released on bail.

The threatening incident on 24 July 2019 is believed to be linked to the support provided by Sobita Mangsatabam and WAD to the victim of a domestic violence. The wife of the police officer had filed a complaint against him in June 2019 detailing threats and domestic violence including death threats against her and their children.

Since June, Sobita Mangsatabam and her staff had been in contact with the police officer and his family in an attempt to resolve the matter. However, as the threats escalated, on 15 July 2019, Sobita Mangsatabam and WAD supported the wife and children to leave the house and move to a temporary shelter.

The incident on 24 July is the second threat on Sobita Mangsatabam and her family this month. On 4 July 2019, a group of unidentified men traveling in a four-wheel drive fired shots at her daughter, Urikhimbam Thoibi. The men had trailed Urikhimbam Thoibi for some distance, and shot at her and two other relatives including a minor child, as they ran into her residence. Front Line Defenders has previously issued an urgent appeal expressing its concern against the incident and calling for an immediate and credible inquiry by the Manipur police.

Sobita Mangsatabam and her organisation have been targeted previously due to her human rights work. In April 2017, following the gang rape of two minor girls, she filed a complaint regarding the incident under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act 2012. Together with several other women’s human rights defenders and organisations, she monitored the case and advocated for an effective inquiry and prosecution.

Following the charge sheet being filed against the accused in this case, five armed men visited the WAD office and asked about her whereabouts. A group of men claiming to be from the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) also visited the UNMM office and inquired about Sobita Mangsatabam. Although Sobita Mangsatabam and her staff were unharmed in that instance, there was grave concern for her safety against reprisals and also due to the failure of the police to ensure support and protection to the WHRD.

Front Line Defenders is extremely concerned about the continuing harassment against Sobita Mangsatabam and her family by armed men and believes this to be linked to her peaceful human rights work.

Front Line Defenders calls on the Indian government to:

1. Strongly condemn the threats against Sobita Mangsatabam, which appear to be linked to her legitimate human rights work;

2. Ensure that the officer involved in the incident on 24 July is being held accountable and carry out an immediate, thorough and impartial investigation into the attack on Sobita Mangsatabam’s daughter on 4 July with a view to publishing the results and bringing those responsible to justice in accordance with international standards;

3. Take all necessary measures to guarantee the physical and psychological integrity and security of Sobita Mangsatabam and her family in consultation with them;

4. Guarantee all human rights defenders in Manipur and India a safe and enabling environment in which to carry out their peaceful work.


* This Press Release was sent to e-pao.net by Youth's Forum for Protection of Human Rights who can be contacted at youthforum(DOT)humanrights(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This Press Release was posted on July 31 2019

* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Wakching Thana Lakpada #2 :: eRang
  • 13th Mega Marathon Manipur #2 : Gallery
  • Is the North-East for sale ?
  • Far away from reality :: Poem
  • Solophok Shivalaya in Sikkim
  • 2019: Year end review : Ministry of AYUSH
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Ceasefire, stand-offs, taxation & extortion
  • Naga Hoho makes a pitch for Pan Naga Hoho
  • Folk Dance Festival #1 : Gallery
  • World Wetlands Day & Wetlands in Manipur
  • ADB financed Imphal Town Ring Road
  • North East India Philosophy Teachers' Meet
  • Research Associate at Tribal Univ, Manipur
  • Meirilakta Delhi (Feb 26)
  • The Terrace Open Mic 3.0 at Agartala
  • Separate land law for the hills ?
  • Students @ Class XII Exam #2 : Gallery
  • School Phagathanshi : No-dearth-of-fund
  • Conference on Material Science at Tripura Univ
  • 495 jobs at National Informatics Centre (NIC)
  • AMP organizes National Convention
  • Save ocean environments for humanity
  • 4th Guwahati International Music Festival
  • Imphal-Mandalay bus service
  • Restructuring the Attitude
  • Lui-ngai-ni, Naga festival @Ukhrul #2 : Gallery
  • Gender equity & human rights pivotal for SDGs
  • RK Alex: Painter who just got his biggest break
  • Fresco of Void :: Poem
  • More options @ food technology
  • Defunct irrigation facilities & farmers' income
  • The dilemma in parliamentary reporting
  • GoI, WC on threshold of signing Naga solution
  • Ongoing Class X, Class XII exams
  • Mukna Kangjei -Indigenous game : Gallery
  • Sangai Festival [Nov 28] #1 : Gallery
  • The Sunshine :: Poem
  • Development of new laboratory tests
  • Warmth of selfless heart
  • Shopping List - Shivaratri #1 : Gallery
  • CRT TV - Our Travelling Companion
  • A Morsel of Food :: Peom
  • Naga Political Settlement
  • Cannabis in epilepsy
  • 2019 Review: Ministry of Social Justice
  • Judicious journalism for good governance
  • Bangladeshki Sana Tampha #1 :: eRang
  • Lannganba, Shangrina, Changpombi: eMing
  • Beauty in the Dark :: Poem
  • Speaker Sir SC is divided on defections
  • Northeast Music Conference at Guwahati
  • Ways to use garlic for long, lustrous locks
  • Outcome of 'taken note of' camps
  • Committing crime against nature
  • Students @ Class XII Exam #1 : Gallery
  • 13th Mega Marathon Manipur #1 : Gallery
  • Maha Shivratri - Brahma Kumaris concept
  • Understanding dementia #2
  • Once in a billion
  • Are provisions of CAA, 2019 discriminatory ?
  • Leaking question papers of Class XI
  • Coronavirus: no case reported from Myanmar
  • Lui-ngai-ni, Naga festival @Ukhrul #1 : Gallery
  • Exploring horticultural avenues of Manipur
  • GPS : For Real Time Geo-location
  • Birds at Dusk :: Poem
  • Small banks: Operational soundness a must
  • Addressing traffic congestion in Imphal
  • Conversion of diesel engine with electrified..
  • Mizoram: Highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rate
  • Manipur Legislative Assembly Building : Gallery
  • 71st Indian Republic Day #6 : Gallery
  • Rohan Philem : Cycle ride at Delhi
  • Career in food technology
  • Women Entrepreneurs from North east India
  • Workshop: High Energy Physics, IIT Guwahati
  • Nambul, Kongba in the list of infamous 60
  • Limitation of freedom sometime required
  • A remarkable journey of a Thang-Ta exponent
  • Day 4 : Sangai Fest #3 : Gallery
  • Education & Teachers in Manipur
  • Its all about learning
  • Manipur- 6 medals at NSG Fencing at Gujarat
  • Coronavirus - A grave threat
  • Class X examination has started !
  • Modi's romance with NE states
  • NE has 60 most polluted river stretches
  • Eepan Thaba -birth ceremony : Gallery
  • Flood Light at Khuman Lampak : Gallery
  • List of nominees : Manipur Film Awards 2020
  • Extending ILP to Manipur Needs A Review
  • The great cosmic discovery - IX
  • 36th Central Conference of ICI at Jiribam
  • Festival with a significant message
  • Sirarakhong Hathei Phanit #2 : Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Understanding dementia #1
  • The Old Man in the Afternoon :: Poem
  • Nurturing Peace
  • Historic Bodo Accord: Beginning of an era
  • Atrial Flutter treated with Radio Frequency
  • Condolence & prayer meeting held
  • Is accepting gift by newsperson unethical
  • Fashion Show @ Sangai Fest #2 : Gallery
  • 71st Indian Republic Day #5 : Gallery
  • Lui-Ngai-Ni - Naga Seed Sowing Fest
  • Revelation for the new decade
  • Beneath our hearts :: Poem
  • Makhol : Discussing Arts
  • Online for Inner Line Permit
  • Redefining mob violence
  • Wakching Thagi Sanarei #1 :: eRang
  • For the Love of Valentine
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand : Timeline
  • Teach a Topic : Online Competition
  • Valentine's Day beauty tips
  • Street Vendor Restriction: Violation of Art 21
  • Community Radio Awareness Workshop - NE
  • School Fagathansi Mission: on Govt school
  • Re-thinking of the serious wrong
  • Amur Falcon Fest @Tamenglong #1 : Gallery
  • Wetlands & biodiversity: Promote actions..
  • Sexual & reproductive health key to SDGs
  • Maddening power of Dili
  • Nagaland BJP leaders joined NPF
  • 2019 review: Ministry of Renewable Energy #2
  • Enacting a farce, MPP style: Comical caricature
  • The silence breaks
  • Dzukou Valley Landscape #2 : Gallery
  • Day 4 : Sangai Fest #2 : Gallery
  • Can we dream of achieving Vision-2020 ?
  • The Ant :: Poem
  • Pulok Mukherjee take charge as Director IBSD
  • The Bodo Accord and after
  • Reqts at Birla Emporiums, Khurai
  • Third time in office for the AAP
  • Govt should stop harassing media
  • Thang Ta at JNMDA #1 : Gallery
  • pNTOgi peraH :: Seireng
  • Bodo accord: A hope for peace and stability
  • Endangered Legal Systems #2
  • A Wintery Song :: Poem
  • Career options in textile industry
  • Weekly Mao Market at Imphal
  • Education should eradicates superstition
  • Sirarakhong Village, Ukhrul : Gallery
  • National Master Athletics : Gallery
  • Dramas in Higher Education
  • Has Govt overlooked Bipartite Settlement?
  • RIST Talk -43 : Nobel Prize in Physics 2019
  • Cannabis in Parkinson's disease
  • Heed appeal of Chairman of COHSEM
  • Accord after IM cadres return from Myanmar
  • Nongmadi : Synopsis of the Shumang Leela
  • 71st Indian Republic Day #4 : Gallery
  • Investment on research & development
  • From Dawn till Dusk :: Poem
  • National Lok Adalat at Lamphel Court
  • India unites on wrong issues
  • Gandhari -Dance Drama #3 : Gallery
  • TwaI na_AosuM :: Seireng
  • Political will to solve climate crisis
  • Product Validation & Quality Control Training
  • Changemakers in Bio-Pharma : Lecture
  • Honey for radiant skin
  • NE ignored for many years stand of PM
  • The changing face of RIMS
  • Phisakol - Film Scenes #1 :: eRang
  • World Tourism Day at Noney #6 : Gallery
  • Dr Ng Brajachand - Reminiscence ...
  • The Strange Boy :: Poem
  • Reqts at PR Enterprises, Khurai
  • Interior Designer at Hatil Furniture
  • Need to restrict cross border interactions
  • The mental equation
  • Hentak - Indigenous Food Fest #2 : Gallery
  • Business Correspondent Model :: Book
  • Endangered Legal Systems #1
  • The great cosmic discovery - VIII
  • The Kaleidoscopic prism
  • Living in the age of nCoV & Swine Flu
  • Bloody battle for greed
  • Agaki Waterfall @ Tamei : Gallery
  • 71st Indian Republic Day #3 : Gallery
  • Community Policing in Manipur
  • Knitwear design as career option
  • Budget & wealth creation in Manipur
  • Visions sans missions & North East India
  • Free Speech & Expression in a Debacle
  • Apple Farm @ Kumbi : Gallery
  • Day 4 : Sangai Fest #1 : Gallery
  • World Wetlands Day 2020
  • Thounaojam Niranjoy breaks 'world record'
  • Discipline and students
  • 2019 review: Ministry of Renewable Energy #1
  • Academic activities paralyse in College
  • Yoga Instructor Training by MIT
  • FIR against MPSC
  • Manipur's Theatre is facing a dark time
  • NE festival to promote culture in Thailand
  • Highest priority accorded to NE in Budget
  • Maibam Nabakishore : Play-wright :: Profle
  • Right to die for people, terminally ill
  • Communities along Barak River #3: Gallery
  • Suresh Huidrom: Natl Architecture Award
  • The Chirp of a Sparrow :: Poem
  • India's last Governor-General
  • Vanishing wetlands: Anthropogenic pressures
  • Coronavirus prevention @ Moreh : Gallery
  • Tribute Rock Concert for (L) Hegin #3 : Gallery
  • Degradation of wetlands in Manipur
  • Tansen plays at Darbar
  • Water scarcity & stress
  • Computational Thinking (CT): Education
  • People have every right to know...
  • Maibi Jagoi @ JNMDA : Gallery
  • Novel Coronavirus outbreak : WHO
  • February Calendar for Year 2020 : Tools
  • Manipur : Champion at Vovinam National
  • CAT rank predictor: for an MBA aspirant
  • Delhi Fashion Club launched in Mumbai
  • MSAB Literary Meet at Benguluru
  • Sports- Making it to news for right reason
  • Judiciary on the rescue Indian Constitution
  • Mr. Khadang #1 :: eRang
  • 71st Indian Republic Day #2 : Gallery
  • Soraisam Keshoram : Natyabhusan (Drama)
  • The Killing Fields 2013-20 : News Timeline
  • Conservation initiatives of Hornbills #2
  • Day 6 : Sangai Fest #2 : Gallery
  • Khangminashi - VI: Gallery
  • Gaan-Ngai at Kakhulong #2 : Gallery
  • Glass Painting by Khusbu: Gallery
  • Aerial- Imp to Tamenglong #2: Gallery
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni #2: Gallery
  • Gaan-Ngai @Chingkham Kabui Khul: Gallery
  • Thong Nambonbi broke apart: Gallery
  • New Year picnic @Singda Dam : Gallery
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2019 #6: Gallery
  • Tolloi, Ukhrul :: 360 Panorama View
  • SPONSORED ADS