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Nagaland

Protests against rape of disabled girl

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By EMN Updated: Sep 11, 2013 12:53 am
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Staff Reporter
DIMAPUR, SEPTEMBER 10

EVEN as the streets of the capital rang out for justice for the gang rape and murder of a young girl, a similar cry for justice rent the air on the streets of the commercial capital of Nagaland, Dimapur.
Around three to four hundred “ordinary women” took to the streets of Dimapur on Tuesday to protest against the alleged rape of a physically challenged girl in Chumukedima on September 3 last.
The “ordinary women”, as addressed by the president of Chumukedima Mother’s Association Neibuno, began their protest march from Zeliangrong village Panchayat hall at 10 am Tuesday and converged at the office of DC Dimapur. A memorandum demanding “commensurate punishment against the offence committed by the accused” as well as denial of bail to the accused person was submitted to the administration, police and judiciary. It was signed by the officials of Zeliang Women Organization Dimapur and Chumukedima Mother’s Association.
Members of Naga Women Hoho Dimapur, Watsu Mungdang and Chakroma Women Association along male members of Zeliang community took part in the protest.
While buoyed by the turnout of “ordinary women” to the protest march, the need for women from ‘educated and affluent class” to join the “ordinary people” and raise “one voice” against gender crimes was nevertheless underscored today.
The president of Chumukedima Mother’s Association Neibuno, a respected figure among peers, remarked that most of the rape victims are from among the “ordinary people” and that most of “the educated and affluent women” have somehow failed to fight for the “ordinary women.”
“It is only the ordinary women who are out in the streets. The educated and the affluent women do not participate (in the protest rallies). We need to come together and raise one voice in unison regardless of our social standings,” she shared.
District and Sessions Judge of Dimapur, S Hukato Swu assured the protestors that the court will deliver justice accordingly, once the “case is established.” He reminded them that the case was still under investigation.
“As a member of the judiciary, it is not proper for me to address the rally. But I stand here today because I understand your sentiment and I ask you to have faith in the judicial system.”
The judge pointed out that the organizations involved in the protest were all “pressure groups” while cautioning them against going the “extra mile.”
Assist the police during investigation and also ensure that the case is not “solved” or compromised in a customary court “if you want justice as per the law”, he advised. The law cannot punish a person twice for the same crime, he said while alluding that he would be helpless once the case is solved in a customary court.
In the mean time, reliable sources have informed that the accused, a former policeman, Phongpa Konyak is still denying the charges of rape thrown against him.

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By EMN Updated: Sep 11, 2013 12:53:38 am