New Delhi. Delhi Women’s Commission Chairperson Swati Maliwal reached Manipur after two women were paraded naked in Manipur and their sexual harassment incident came to the fore. Here he met the families of both the women victims and asked the Center to demand the resignation of the Chief Minister of Manipur along with getting information about the incident.
Delhi Commission for Women chief Swati Maliwal arrived in Churachandpur, Manipur amid the crossfire on 24 July, along with member Vandana Singh, and met the mother and husband of two victims who had been paraded naked, molested and one of them gang-raped. During this, the mother of the girl who was gang-raped told Swati that she had lost her husband and son as well. Both of them died trying to save their daughter from sexual assault.
Swati told that the woman is inconsolable and in extreme shock. On the other hand, the other woman who was paraded naked and molested, her husband has fought the Kargil war for the country. He told that the victims are in deep shock and are constantly remembering the horrific moments. After talking to both of them in detail, Maliwal assured that they are not alone and the whole country is with them in their hour of need.
The relatives told Swati that till date neither the Chief Minister, nor any cabinet minister, nor any senior official of the state has bothered to meet her. Maliwal was the first (government) person to meet him. Along with this, he has not received any counseling, legal aid or compensation from the government till now. They were angry that no action was taken against any police officer in their case.
Swati said that there is continuous violence and heavy firing in Manipur’s Churachandpur and a school was set on fire there two days ago. The Manipur government did not provide any assistance to Maliwal either to go there or to meet the survivors of the violence. However, on his own free will, he traveled to Churachandpur district without any security and interacted with the survivors of the violence.
People are scared in relief camps
Swati also visited relief camps and met other violence affected women. At the Churachandpur relief camp, he met a 70-year-old woman from Langchink village. He told that he was sleeping in his house and suddenly the firing started. As soon as his only son got up from the bed, a bullet passed through him and he died on the spot right in front of him. Now, he has no one to call his own in the world and due to this trauma he is facing many health problems. Ms. Maliwal also met a 34-year-old woman in Imphal who had recently given birth to a baby girl when a mob surrounded her. Her husband and brother-in-law were murdered and she somehow managed to escape with the child.
Apart from this, he also interacted with the survivors in two relief camps in Moirang. They are living in pathetic condition and their houses have been burnt. Somehow they managed to escape from the crowd with great difficulty. He said that the Governor of Manipur had come to meet him but he was very upset that the Chief Minister did not come to meet him and he was left to fend for himself. The relief camps were cramped as a large number of people were living there. Mostly local volunteers are supporting each camp which is falling short in all aspects to meet the needs of the survivors.
At the same time, many women affected by the violence in Imphal have contacted Maliwal and are meeting him. A 30-year-old woman from Torgum Bangla village came to meet Maliwal and narrated her horrific ordeal. She told that on May 3 her house was burnt and she along with her husband and two children escaped from the mob. However, on May 11, her husband along with two others decided to go back to the village from the relief camp and take food from the granary as they had nothing to eat. Since then they are missing. The woman said that despite the registration of the FIR, the police did not take any action.
Swati Maliwal said, ‘These three days have been very difficult for me. I was denied any assistance by the government to enter Manipur yet I came here at great personal risk. The viral video shook me to my core and I wanted to meet the survivors at all costs. I was told by the local people that it is very difficult to travel to Churachandpur to meet the families of the survivors, yet I decided to go there without any protection amid heavy firing. Somehow, I managed to meet him. He has gone through a hell worse than imaginable and it was very sad to know that neither the Chief Minister nor any government official met him. Till now neither has any cooperation been given to them by the government. If I can travel all the way from Delhi and reach him without any security, surely the Chief Minister of Manipur and his cabinet members can go and meet him in a bullet proof car. Why haven’t they been given counselling, legal aid and compensation till now?
My mind is going numb after seeing the situation in Manipur.
The violence in Manipur is deeply disturbing and wherever I go, there are mind-numbing horror stories. People have lost their homes and loved ones and the government has completely failed to protect them. I think the Center should immediately seek the resignation of the Chief Minister of Manipur. The Prime Minister should immediately visit Manipur along with the Home Minister and the WCD Minister. Manipuri people are very nice and kind. This is a beautiful land. Immediate steps should be taken by the Center for their safety.
Tags: Manipur, Swati Maliwal
FIRST PUBLISHED : July 25, 2023