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Protest march against rape

Women and students participating at protest march against rape, Wednesday. (NP)
DIMAPUR, SEPT 3 (NPN)Staff Reporter :
Published on 4 Sep. 2008 2:29 AM IST
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Thousands of women and students under the aegis of Naga Women Hoho Dimapur (NWHD) staged a procession in Dimapur Wednesday, to protest the increasing instances of violence against women including the recent rape of a pregnant woman and rape and murder of a minor school girl in separate incidents in Dimapur. Carrying placards and banners some of which read “No bail to the rapists” and “Rapists are no less than beast,” the rallyists first converged at Walford Junction at 8 a.m, and then proceeded to DC office on foot where they submitted a 3-point memorandum to DC Dimapur. NWHD in the memorandum demanded that the four accused in the August 27 rape of a pregnant mother at Old Showuba, be prosecuted as per relevant Criminal Acts and that the public prosecutor should be made to draw up a strong case seeking minimum sentence of ten years for all accused. The women also demanded that the district authority coordinate with the law enforcement agencies in handling the case with all sensitivity and ensure that the investigation process was not influenced or misled by any verdict pronounced by the “customary court” or other settlement made between parties to the case. The women further warned that any representative seeking bail for the accused would be held responsible for any untoward incident. With regard to the rape and murder of late Anukampa Dhan, a 15-year old student whose body was found inside the Mount Carmel School campus on August 17, the women demanded a thorough and fair investigation to arrest the culprits. “It is not sufficient to apprehend and detain certain people on grounds of suspicion but the law enforcement agencies must leave no stone unturned to solve the case and arrest the real culprit/culprits,” the memorandum stated. After receiving the memorandum, DC Dimapur Maongwati Aier addressed the huge crowd and assured that the accused in the rape of the pregnant woman would not be granted bail and that they would be tried under the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which would be a minimum of seven years imprisonment or even life imprisonment. The DC also informed that he would immediately dispatch copies of the memorandum to the Governor and chief minister. On the way to DC court, the processionists also dropped in at East Police Station where SP Dimapur Liremo Lotha also assured the women leaders that police were trying their best to expedite the process of delivering justice. Earlier, at Walford Junction, various women speakers including Naga Mothers’ Association (NMA) president Kheshili, NWHD president Hukheli Wotsa and former NWHD president Tiala Sapu, asked whether women in Naga society have been reduced to mere playthings and as cheap as “Laipattas” (mustard leaves), to be used or abused in good times and discarded or ignored in bad times. Kheshili said in the past during the Naga struggle, Naga women had to live with the ignominy and shame inflicted by Indian soldiers. “Now, instead of defending us, our own men and boys are doing the same thing to us.” Naga Council Dimapur president Savi Liegise, GBs & DBs Forum Dimapur convenor A Taku Longkumer and DNSU president Solomon Awomi, who also addressed the rally, extended support and solidarity to the women in the fight for justice.

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