Imphal/August 11, 2023 (SPN) | A harrowing incident unfolded in Manipur as a 37-year-old Meitei mother, desperately escaping a house fire set by savage mobs in Churachandpur, was gang raped by Kuki miscreants on May 3.
The survivor, who mustered the courage to come forward with her story in an August 9 Zero FIR, revealed the horrifying ordeal she endured.
As per the FIR, at 6.30 pm on May 3, Kuki miscreants started burning the woman and her neighbour’s houses, after which she, along with her two minor sons, niece and sister-in-law ran as fast as they could.
“I carried my niece on my 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 unable to get up. 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,” the woman said in the ‘zero FIR’ filed in Bishnupur, 35 km from her now-destroyed house in Churachandpur.
“When I finally managed to get up, some five-six kuki miscreants got hold of me. They started verbally abusing and assaulting me. Despite my resistance, I was forcefully pinned down. After this, the men started sexually assaulting me…” the woman said in the FIR.
Fearful of societal exclusion and unwarranted attention on her family, the survivor had initially chosen not to report the assault.
However, the trauma and suffering she endured drove her to seek justice. She approached the women police station in Bishnupur, no longer able to bear the weight of her experience.
The survivor’s FIR adamantly demands that the perpetrators receive appropriate punishment for subjecting her to such unspeakable horrors. The case has been transferred to the Churachandpur women police station for jurisdictional purposes.
The case has been registered under several pertinent sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including Sections 376D (gang rape), 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 120B (criminal conspiracy), and 34 (common intention).
To protect her identity and that of her husband, the survivor’s name remains undisclosed. The FIR includes a name with the notation “name changed” at the bottom.
This case adds to the extensive collection of FIRs documenting a surge in violent incidents, including killings, arson, clashes, and mob-related crimes since Manipur plunged into turmoil on May 3.
Notably, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has taken up several cases related to the Manipur violence, including allegations of gang rapes and other heinous acts.
Among these, one case involves a CRPF assistant commandant accused of assaulting a 56-year-old woman in public.
Disturbingly, a pattern of alleged gang rapes has emerged, particularly affecting the Meitei community, who were the initial victims of the May 3 violence in Churachandpur.
In the wake of the events on May 3, the clash between the two communities has resulted in the filing of a staggering 6,523 FIRs at various police stations across the state until July 25. The incident underscores the urgent need for action and justice in the face of such grievous violations.