Mass protest rally against gang-rape today

IMPHAL, 26th April: Core Committee against Phaknung Gang-Rape will organise a mass rally cum public meeting on Thursday at 9 am at Ima Khunthokhanbi Shanglen, DM College Campus. The event will be participated by representatives of various civil society and student's organisations, NGOs, Meira Paibis, etc., as well as people from different walks of life.

          The mass rally will start from the Shanglen and proceed towards Khurai Lamlong bridge via Khongang Ani Karak and will head for Telipati road, Minuthong, PCTC, DM College before culminating at the starting point, informed a statement of Core Committee issued by N Jeevanmala.

             Meanwhile, condemning the gang-rape of two girl students by seven persons on April 14, Kangla Sangomshang Meira Paibi and NETA club, Kangla staged a sit-in-protest at the local community hall on Wednesday. A woman protester, while terming the April 14 incident as a heinous crime against humanity demanded befitting punishment against all involved in the beastly act.

              She also said women organisations of Kangla and Meira Paibi will extend support to any agitation launched in connection with crimes against women and children. Further, she called upon Manipur government to take stringent action to control crimes against women. The Meira Paibi leader also clarified that women of Kangla never endorsed crimes committed against women.

            Vehemently condemning the April 14 gang-rape of two girl students by seven persons near Phaknung village in Imphal East district, seven women’s organisations demanded that there should be no leniency against the accused persons. Speaking on behalf of the organisations at NIPCO office, Keishampat on Wednesday, AMKIL president Th Sakhi insisted that authorities concerned should declare the quantum of punishment to be initiated against the seven within three months.

             While pledging fullest support and participation in the mass protest rally proposed on Thursday, she opined that unless culprits involved in such beastly acts are not subjected to harshest form of punishment campaigns and efforts by various civil and rights bodies to check crime against women and children will remain futile.

              Further stating that persons convicted in rape cases deserve either life sentence or death penalty, Sakhi suggested that the state government should accord top priority in safeguarding women and children as well as in exploring means to adopt laws for stringent punishment of the criminals. Joining the media briefing, Nongpok Leingak apunba Nupi Lup, Imphal East president Y Memma stressed the need for house owners to prohibit movement of girl students from venturing out of their rented quarters after dusk.

            Representatives of Nongchup Imphal Meira Paibi Apunba Lup, Imphal West; Thoubal District United Women’s development Organisation; Apunba Nupi Lup, Bishnupur district; All Manipur Muslim Women’s Development Organisation; and Eraibak Ennat Chanura Loinasilon were also present at the media briefing.
Manipur University Tribal Students’ Union (MUTSU), United People’s Administrative Council (UPACO) Manipur and All Manipur Progressive Farmers’ Association (AMPFA) also condemned the brutal gang-rape at Phaknung.

              Stating that the incident has evoked fear and insecurity among women and girls of the state, a statement issued by MUTSU publicity secretary Rakuyio Khrasi demanded authority concerned to award befitting punishment to all rapists in accordance to law of the land. He also appealed to the government to take up measures and mechanism to check recurrence of such shameful incident in future.

                AMPFA publicity secretary A Laingam condemning the Phaknung gang-rape demanded the government to deliver justice to the two girls by punishing all the rapists involved. Declaring that the farmers will also take part in the mass rally and public meeting on Thursday, Laingam appealed to the government to ascertain veracity on claims that six of the rapists are juveniles.

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