BJP deadline for fast-track court on rape

Imphal, Feb. 1: The Manipur BJP has served the Okram Ibobi Singh government an ultimatum to set up a fast-track court for trying crimes against women in the state. The party asked the government to act or face a BJP campaign.

"We demand the setting up of a fast-track court to deal with crimes against women particularly sexual offences. We want the court by February 28. If the state government fails to act the BJP will launch a democratic movement," Moirangthem Ashwinikumar Singh, BJP general secretary told this correspondent.

He said sexual offences against women in Manipur were rising and framing of chargesheet and trial of the accused is slow.

"The chargesheet is yet to be framed in the gang-rape of a woman from Tamenglong in Bishnupur district by four persons, including two IRB personnel in March last year. If a first track court exists sexual offences could be tried and the guilty punished speedily," Ashwinikumar Singh said.

He said the BJP was prepared to launch a movement with the people and civil society bodies if the government failed to set up one by the deadline.

With former Union minister of state for youth affairs and sports Th. Chaoba Singh taking over the reins of the party as the president recently the BJP is pulling up its socks not to allow Ibobi Singh government to remain silent on sexual offences.

The BJP's ultimatum came at a time when State Platform of Disabled Peoples Organisation Manipur is on a strike over the rape of a 13-year-old physically challenged girl by a 70-year-old beggar, identified as Kora Singh, at her home at Hayel Loubuk in Thoubal district under Thoubal police station on January 19.

The beggar assaulted her while her parents and other family members were out on work.

Thoubal police station registered a case. However, the accused is yet to be arrested.

"Police are not taking the case seriously and they are not making enough effort to nab the culprit," Jasowanta Sapam, president of the State Platform of Disabled Peoples Organisation Manipur, said.

The organisation today submitted a memorandum to the chief minister demanding punishment of the accused.

Delay in delivering justice to the victim in particular and differently-abled people in general will compel the organisation to take further course of action and the government would be held responsible for anything unwanted arising out of government inaction, the memorandum warned.

Jasowanta said the organisation would wait two weeks for government action to come before deciding any course of agitation. Police said the accused is absconding.

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