Rape accused police constable gets interim bail

The family of the accused frequented the victim’s family requesting the withdrawal of the case, asking for the minor girl’s hand in marriage.

 

Rape cases in Manipur show no sign of stopping even as COVID-19 cases mount in the state. As per reports, about 27 rape cases were reported in the state between January end to September. Almost all the victims are underage and among them, one minor girl was murdered after being raped.
Even police personnel are found involved in rape cases. Recently, a police constable allegedly raped a minor girl repeatedly by threatening to kill her if she disclosed the incident to anyone and got an interim bail in the case.

A shocking and heinous act of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl was allegedly committed by one police constable, Gangbi Gangmei, 26-year-old son of Adam Gangmei of Chinlinkhon village, Kangpokpi district. The accused reportedly committed the heinous act of sexual assault on the minor on January 11, 2020 at around 3 am during Gaan-Ngai festival. The accused being a constable, the victim was scared and kept the incident a secret. Taking advantage of her silence, the accused repeatedly raped the mino girl till September 2020.

The incident came to light when the accused accidentally shared the incident to some of his friends under intoxication. When the rumour spread in the village, the girl’s family asked the minor girl to confirm but the minor girl declined to reveal the truth. However, when the family members persistently asked her, giving full assurance of protection, she shared the details.

Family members rushed to the accused house to settle the matter. But the family of the accused did not cooperate and lodged a complaint at the village court (Thangbei), stating that the matter raised against the accused was false and he was wrongly implicated in the matter.

However, during the village court trial, the family of the accused admitted the crime committed by their son and requested the court to have mercy and pardon their son. But the minor victim’s family opposed to settle the matter in the village court and decided to settle the matter in accordance with the State law. Accordingly, the minor victim’s family lodged an FIR at Bishnupur police station on October 16 under section 6POCSO Act and 506 IPC. However, the police have not arrested the accused till date.

Angered over the alleged delay by the police, the joint committee that was formed for justice of the minor victim has appealed to the chief minister, the director general of police and all concerned authorities to intervene in the case to bring justice to the minor victim by taking expeditious appropriate action on the accused in accordance with the law, during the press meet held at Manipur Press Club on Friday.

JAC secretary, G Gaiphunpou Stephen said that the victim’s family had asked reason for delaying the arrest of the culprit in which the office of the SP Bishnupur stated that since the culprit is serving as a police constable under the establishment of the SP Tengnoupal, he cannot be directly arrested by the Bishnupur police. The SP Bishnupur has to write to the SP Tengnoupal asking for permission to arrest the culprit.

Meanwhile, the judge of Special Court (POCSO) Senapati granted interim bail to the culprit on October, 20. It may be mentioned that the case will be tried in the Senapati court as the minor girl victim’s house is in Kangpokpi district.

The JAC alleged that a team of women police station, Bishnupur came to the accused home on October 17 instead of arresting the culprit from the police station and informed the culprit’s father about the FIR, warning that if they arrest his son, he would face dire consequences. The JAC also alleged that the team of police gave a chance of taking interim bail by warning the culprit’s family. The establishment of SP Bishnupur intentionally delayed in arresting the culprit in order to give time to the family to apply for bail.

The family of the accused frequented the victim’s family requesting the withdrawal of the case, asking for the minor girl’s hand in marriage, which the victim’s family rejected.

The minor victim’s aunt said that the victim is staying with her alcoholic father. The accused police constable took the chance to rape her by drinking. Now, the condition of the victim is worsening day by day. She is ignoring food and staying aloof from people, the aunt said.

Meanwhile, IO of the case stated that the accused still refuses to admit the crime alleged against him. But under permission of SP Tengnoupal, medical examination and prelim interrogation was done on October 22. Due to his interim bail, the police are not able to arrest him.

The NCRB report, published after a delay of two years, shows the total number of cases registered in 2017 stood at 9,013 compared to 6,986 cases registered in 2016. Crimes against women in the state increased during 2016 and 2018 though the number of murder crimes declined in the same period, according to National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) Report 2018.

Manipur recorded 253 crimes against women in 2016, 236 in 2017 and 271 in 2018. The report also said that number of murder cases in Manipur is in declining trend from 2016 to 2018. There were 78 murder cases reported in 2016, 63 in 2017 and 52 in 2018 in the state.

According to the latest data released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), India recorded 88 rape cases every day in 2019. The rape vulnerability of a girl or woman has increased up to 44 per cent in the last 10 years, the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data shows. According to the NCRB data, during the period 2010-2019, a total of 3, 13, 289 cases were reported across India.

After the Nirbhaya case, the government amended the existing law and made it more stringent, including doubling the prison term for rapists to 20 years.

While sexual crimes against women have been on the rise, the brutal gang rape of Nirbhaya in 2012 shook the nation’s consciousness like no other. It prompted policymakers to make amendments to criminal law and come up with stringent punishment in rape and sexual assault cases. This also included an amendment in the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012, to allow death penalty for the rape of children younger than 12 years.

 

First Published:Oct. 25, 2020, 12:21 p.m.

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