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Inaction On Manorama Case Flayed

IMPHAL, Jan 11: Decrying the alleged failure of the Government of Manipur to act for the last seven years even after the personnel of 17 Assam Rifles involved in the brutal rape and murder of Thangjam Manorama have been identified, woman activist K Taruni has warned that the Government should not take lightly the nude protest staged by the womenfolk in front of Kangla gate to protest the murder.

Talking to The Sangai Express, Taruni, who is also the president of All Manipur Social Reformation and Development Samaj said that the brutal rape and murder of the then 32-year old Thangjam Manorama could never be forgotten by all the Manipuri womenfolk.

The brutalized and bullet riddled body of Manorama was found in the wee hours of July 11, 2004 at Laipharok Maring village in Imphal East after she was picked up by personnel of 17 Assam Rifles from her Bamon Kampu residence the previous night. No arrest memo was issued at the time she was picked up.

In protest against the killing, 12 ‘˜Imas’ staged a nude protest in front of the western gate of Kangla where 17 Assam Rifles was then stationing, on July 15 afternoon of 2004.

K Taruni was one of the 12 ‘˜Imas’ who took part the historic nude protest. The other 11 ‘˜Imas’ were Kh Ramani, Jamini, S Momonleima, M Ibemhal, Sorojini, Ibetombi, Mema, Nganbi, Tombi, Jibanmala and Gyaneswari.

To control the situation in the aftermath of the nude protest, the Government imposed indefinite curfew with effect from 11 am.

Taruni said that failure of the Government to take up any action against perpetrators of the crime despite their identities been known and many cases not taken up for the last seven years could never be condoned by the mothers in Manipur.

The Government should not take lightly the nude protest staged by the 12 ‘˜Imas’, Taruni said, adding that it is wrong not to listen to the cry for justice of the bereaved family.

Taruni informed that as a representative of All Manipur Social Reformation and Development Samaj she was part of the investigation team in connection with the rape of Elangbam Ahanjaobi of Takyel Khumanthem Leikai and Meinam Bina of Luwangsangbam Matai by personnel of 2nd Mahar Regiment and Assam Rifles who were then posted respectively at Kangla and Matai village. During the investigation, the involved personnel have no alternative but to confess their crimes. In fact, Bina identified the personnel who raped her and the case was resolved very easily.

So, after all these investigations and inquiries, there should be no problem in resolving the case and punishment of the personnel involved in the rape and murder of Manorama, Taruni observed.

How long is the case to be suppressed under  cloak of Armed Forces Special Powers Act ?, she questioned, adding that had not the womenfolk of Manipur raised their voices against such crimes, all the women in Manipur would have been the victims of the lust of security forces.

Does the Government want such a predicament? she further asked.  Taruni said that her organization, Nupi Samaj supports the petition filed by the bereaved family members of Manorama.

In connection with the fast unto death agitation being launched by Irom Chanu Sharmila to demand removal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act from Manipur for over 10 years now, Taruni asked the Government whether it is waiting for Sharmila to die.

If anything happen to Sharmila, then the Government should be held solely responsible, she added categorically.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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