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Items filtered by date: Sunday, 20 December 2015 - Imphal Times - A Daily Eveninger

Where is the justice in mob justice?

By- Damudor Arambam
Mob violence, also referred to as “Mob Justice” highlights a striking paradox – it approves the dispensation of justice by people, who usurp the authorities of constitutionally delegated bodies and apply a process they define as speedy. It can take various forms; ranging from arson, beating, chasing away suspected criminals, lynching, destroying properties and even attacking family members of suspected criminals.When people take law into their own hands to lynch wrongdoers, they render the offences, however trivial, a capital offence, for which they appoint themselves accuser, prosecutor, judge and executioner all at the same time.In the last decade, mob justice has become rampant in our Manipuri society. Suspected criminals are beaten and many a time killed and properties destroyed which do not correspond with the crime committed. Damaging hospital properties and disrupting health services by mob consisting of relatives after the death of a patient are current trends in Manipur. Even accused are beaten outside court by mob when they are produced for trial.Protestors usually turn into vigilante mobs with ready justifications for burning of vehicles and public buildings during political agitation.But whenever such acts are visited on individuals, it heightens a dangerous phenomenon that suppresses the constitutional requirement of due process and further weakens the sanctity of laws that regulate human conduct.
India has an adversarial criminal justice system in which an accused or offender is presumed innocent until proven guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction.Through the practice of mob justice, victims are denied a fundamentalright to a fair trial. Article 10 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights stipulates about the right to fair trial. Also article 11 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights specified about the right to stand innocent of a crime before being proved guilty. Sometimes mob justice deprives the victims’ rights to live.The constitution of India has clearly states in Article 21 that “no person shall be deprived of his or her personal liberty except according to procedure established by law”. Articles 3 and 5 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Articles 6 and 7 of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights guarantee individuals the right to life, liberty, dignity and security of person. Inherent in these articles is that no one should be subjected torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
One, however, cannot entirely blame the public for the upsurge in mob violence without taking a critical look at the justice delivery system. Mistrust and lack of confidence in the judicial system are some of the reasons the public indulge in mob justice. An enormous increase in mob justice is directly proportionate to the increase crime rate and backlog of cases in the courts.Various crime associated factorslike poverty, unemployment in the state are leading to upsurge of mob justice in our society. This is so because when people feel insecure because of crime, and for that matter robbery, they will defend and protect themselves by resorting to violent acts of instant justice. Here people’s ignorance of the law could also implicate them in mob violence.
The reasons for the setting up the prison system are Retribution, Incapacitation, Deterrence, and Rehabilitation. It is well acknowledged that the present-day reforms in our criminal justice system only succeeded in establishing incapacitation as the only form of punishment. This, it is argued, has led to a situation where people who are sent to prison only come out worse thanthey went. There are so many cases of armed goons groups operating inside the jail in our state. The kidnapping and subsequent murder of Luningla Elizabeth in 2003 was executed by a group of goons operated inside theSajiwa Central jail.
Over and above the entire state is marked by a culture of impunity and lawlessness. Armed forces are empowered under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958 to shoot, arrest, and destroy properties on mere suspicion without following the due process of law or rule of law. AFSPA has resulted in fake encounters, rapes, torture, extra-judicial killings and disappearances in Manipur. There are about 1500 cases of reported extra-judicial killings in the state. Such situations can be considered as a threat for the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, because separation of powers, right to a fair trial and accountability are no longer respected. So called civil society, frontal organizationand various other moral policing groups operative in the state are so empowered to give instant justice by taking laws in to their hands. There was a time people usually approach to the armed insurgents to resolve their dispute over another keeping aside the state judiciarywhere these non-state actors delivered their so called justice under what they termed various courts like Kangaroo court, People’s court.It is the fact that rule of law or due process of law is not strictly followed in the state.
Perhaps one heinous, barbaric, and gruesome act of mob violence that sent chills down the spines of most Indian was the infamous Dimapur Lynching in Nagaland. A mob of around ten thousand people broke into a prison, dragged a man detained suspicion of rape out of the Dimapur Central Jail in Karimganj, paraded him naked and beat him to death by. This incident received media coverage around the world.

In August 2011, LaishramChaoba of TenthaMarongband in Thoubal district reported missing of his wife at Thoubal police station. About three days later a dead body of a woman was found at Ithai Barrage. The family and relative of the missing women then charged LaishramChaoba and his family of murdering their daughter and forcibly cremated in the courtyard of the accused. The accused husband pleaded the hurriedly formed JAC not to cremate the dead body as he protested the dead body as not of his wife. Laishramchaoba and his father were charged of murdering the lady and later released on bail. After four years LaishramChaoba found his wife living a new life with another partner at NongdamTangkhul Village in Ukhrul district. Here the question is who is going to compensate about the loss of his house and properties in the hands of mob justice.
On 2nd November 2015 Md. HashmadAli, a headmaster of a Primary Madrassa in KeiraoMaktingAwangLeikai, under Irilbung Police Station in Imphal East, was lynched over allegations of stealing a calf. The abandoned dead body of Hashmad Ali was found in Uchekon Lai-muriba village, around 4 km from the deceased house. As per the locality of the Uchekon, Hashmad Ali was beaten to death by a mob after he was seen with a calf that was belong to one KhumallambamBrojen. The Joint Action Committee (JAC) constituted against the brutal killing of MdHashmad Alialleged that the cold blooded murder was plotted by immediate neighbourMd Amu for some land dispute.A mob of locality again burn down the house of Md Amu in retaliation.There is a stigmatisation of MeeteiPangal as ‘could be thieves or robbers’ that had produced a toxic social order, therefore causing severe injustice to the entire community. This stereotypeactually throws light on two evils in Manipuri society, namely, an overly casual attitude toward one community specifically and the penchant for instant justice.There is a suspicion that Md Amu took advantage of this prejudice in order to shift the blame on another community from his involvement.
The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of children) Act, 2000 provides a framework for a special approach towards the prevention and treatment of juvenile delinquency and provides a framework for the protection, treatment and rehabilitation of children below 18 years in the purview of juvenile justice system in India. Recently a juvenile accused of raping a minor girl was kept in the custody of police station for a week and latter ousted with his family from the village by locality. It is very clear that Juvenile Justice Act has failed miserably to protect the accused minor.
In our society mob violence is considered a deviant behaviour but not necessarily a crime. By inference, this might account the reasons why many perpetrators of mob attacks go unpunished and the menace reoccurs. The menace of mob violence has assumed such alarming proportions in the state that government, policy makers, human rights defenders group and intellectual need to think about the disastrous consequences of mob violence.Although the criminal code of Indiais silent on mob violence as a crime, a person or group of persons involved in mob attacks may be arrested and prosecuted for the resultant effect of their actions.What this means is that when the action of a mob results in any offence stated in the criminal code, the perpetrator(s) can be charged in a court.
It is very clear from the present trends of justice delivery system by people that all of us are at risk, not safe at all, as far as mob violence, and for that matter, mob justice, is concerned. The “mob justice” and other visceral mob violence it must be understood, represent a slap in the face of law and human rights, and cannot be justified under any circumstances.
 (The writer Damudor Arambam is a Criminal Justice Fellow at Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai)

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13 years old minor girl allegedly rape and abandoned

In yet another crime against women and children, a thirteen years old minor girl studying class VIII at a private school was allegedly raped and abandoned at a roadside at Lillong Turel Ahanbi area. The incident reportedly happen on Decemebr 9 at around 3 pm but the matter was revealed to the media only today by the parents of the victim girl as their daughter had told about the heinous incident only on the 17th of this month as she was expecting an amicable solution as the rape accused had promised her to take her as his wife within 7 days period.
In a press meet held today at Manipur, mother of victim minor girl said that soon after her daughter revealed about the incident she along with her husband went to Lillong police station and registered a complaint of rape on the following day. The victim identified the rapist as one Md. Jamin Huisian (age 23) son of Late Kora of Lillong Boroi Makhong Mathak Leikai.
As narrated during the press meet, the rape victim minor girl was kidnapped on December 9 by the said accused and two of his friend while she was returning after completing final year examination. The mother of the victim girl said that she was forcibly taken to an A star car on the pretext of dropping her home, but was taken to another way.
“My daughter was first knocked down and when in unconscious states the accused Md. Jamin Huisian raped her”, mother of the victim girl said.

Later, when the victim girl regain consciousness she found herself filled with blood at her private part and saw the accused sitting along with the AStar car, the mother added. She further said that at around 3 pm of the day the said accused dropped her at a house which is about 3 Km from her residence.
A person identified as MD. Imran Khan along with another person allegedly came gave some diaper to the girl, she said.
The victim’s mother said that as the police have not arrested any of the accused except picking up the car involved in the incident, she put the matter to the notice of the ANJUMAN. Later ANJUMAN picked up Imran Khan , the person who delivered diaper to the girl on the day. The victim’s mother as well as other civil society including PSO appealed concern authority to arrest the culprit involved in the rape of the minor girl.

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MCPM warns serious action to 3 officials of RIMS

Rebel group Maoist Communist Party, Manipur (MCPM) today warned serious action to three top officials of RIMS, whom they alleged to have been involved in the intentional leaking of question papers for recruitment examination of staff nurse.
In a press statement, the outfit points figure to the Director RIMS, Deputy Director and the Medical Superintendent of RIMS to have been the persons behind the leaking of the question papers. The outfit said that in-order to cheat the people of the state particularly those candidates appearing the recruitment test; the Director RIMS had constituted a name shake enquiry committee to end the matter.
Around 6000 candidates appeared in the recruitment test held on December 13 this year for appointment of 116 staff nurse. A total of 369 candidate including 191 unreserved, 96 OBC, 57 SC and 25 ST were declared passed in the written test. Armed group MCMP said that as the three top officials of the RIMS fear unwanted consequences as people can seek the help of RTI, they intentionally leaked the question paper ahead of the written test to their already selected candidate. The outfit said that their cadres had interview some of the candidates who were declared passed in the written test and had found out the amount they had given to these officials through some middlemen that the three persons had sent to them. The outfit alleges that an amount of rupees 2 million were collected from those candidate which were suppose to be selected and the MCPM claims to have the name of the candidates who will be selected.
Taking the matter seriously and considering the three persons – Director RIMS, deputy Director and medical Superintendent as the enemy of the people, the outfit said that public curfew will be imposed from December 22 to December 31 in around the administrative block of RIMS. However, the curfew will not effect to the functioning of the hospital as usual. The outfit further said that if those responsible for the present crisis fail to resign then the outfit will call 12 hours general strike on January 3.
The outfit also encourages the candidates who had appeared the written test to take legal aids and other form of democratic movement to get justice. 

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Web site launched

A website called www.Help-Yourself.in was officially launched by MLA Laishom Ibomcha  today at Lamyanba Sanglen Palace Compound in Imphal East.
Managing Director of the website Rishikumar Kangabam, while speaking on the web site launching function said that the website will provide multiple information about ambulance services, taxi services, among others.
MLA, L.Ibomcha who graced the function as Chief Guest appreciated the effort of those who had harness to develop such an innovative idea by utilizing the latest technology.  “Such website is very rare and will help many in getting information of their requirement” Ibomcha said.
Chief Editor of Kangla Pao P.Ibochouba and Professor of Maharaj Budhachandra collage Th. Homen Singh also attended the web site launching function as president and Guest of Honour respectively.

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Film related activities still on hold

Activities related to Manipuri movies including Music are still being put on hold due to the continuous monetary demands made by some armed groups during the past and running months.
Speaking to media persons at their office today, Film Forum Manipur (FFM) chairman L Surjakanta Sharma said that Film Forum Manipur has recently staged a sit-in protest against the monetary demands from some UGs. L Surjakanta Sharma further said armed groups of KCP-MC (Paikhomba) and URF (Lalheiba Group) have withdrawn their demands while NRFM are still continue the threats to the member of the Forum.
As an appeal, L Surjakanta Sharma wants the armed group of NRFM to withdraw their demands within the time period of December 25 so that FFM can continue with their schedule work.

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Transgenders’ Mega Fashion Event

Signifying that transgender or third genders have equal rights with the other two genders, ‘Sana Ebema’ an NGO is organizing its first ‘Mega Fashion Event’ with a metaphoric title ‘Sanagi Likfang’ on 23 December at Hotel Imphal.
Interacting with media persons RK Sujata, Secretary of ‘Sana Ebema’ informed that the fashion event is organizing as the curtain laser of three month long campaign promoting transgender rights. She said the intervention campaign is targeting parents, policy makers, educationist, and influencers, while the fashion event will be followed by consultation programs, panel discussions and workshops for policymakers, educationists on transgender rights.

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Locals of Keirao urges to arrange power supply for bonafide power consumers

Localities of Arapti Wahengbam leikai and Tonjam Leikai under Keirao Assembly Constituency appealed electricity department to provide electricity which have been off since last October 22 in the said area.
Locals appealed concern authority to provide electricity for those consumers who have cleared consumer bills in view of the Board and Council exams which is commencing soon. According to one Wahengbam Surjit Luwang, a resident of the area informed media during a press meet here at Manipur Press Club that there are around 31 electrified households in the two leikais out of which around 25 are authorised consumers. Out of the 25 authorised consumers 12 of them cleared electricity bill amount of Rs 12,000 on October 21, just one day before the current was cut off, said Surjit. When localities went to complain to concern AE officer at Lilong, they were informed that the transformer had defused and localities waited some days for repairing the transformer. When the concern power station fail to do so they again went to AE and requested to repair it by localities itself, however they were informed to clear the unclear bill of approximately Rs 3,20,000 and the department will fix the current.  

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Postal staffs begin cleanliness drive

Staffs of Post Offices in Manipur begin a 10 days cleanliness drive at all post offices of Manipur including the Imphal Head post office since December 18. The cleanliness drive which is being conducted under the Swachh Bharat Mission will continue till December 27.
In a press communiqué, Vinod Kumar, Director (Posts), Manipur intimated that the Special Campaign includes cleaning the workspace, the surroundings of Post Offices, Postal Staff Colony, weeding out of old records and unused furniture with due procedure, display banners for Swachh Bharat in Head Post Office etc. He mentioned that in order to successfully implement the campaign, he has entrusted the task to all the respective sub divisional heads to carry out the cleanliness mission and submit reports along with photographs. Kumar also added that he and his staff came to the office on Sunday and cleaned Imphal Head Post Office as well as Divisional Office, Imphal. Around 20 staff including the Supdt. of POs (HQ), Imphal participated in the campaign. The Director (Posts) also planted trees at Imphal HPO Complex as part of this Special Campaign.

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Status of Manipuri Women now and then - Do we need to prepare for another Nupi Lal?

By Reena Nongmaithem
Women of Manipur collectively had always been taking crucial role in certain critical stages in the history of Manipur. They acted like a warrior in safeguarding political and economic discourse after Manipur lost her independence against British Empire in 1891. While, their significant role during the war against Awas (Myanmars) in 1817 which led to the seven Years of Devastation cannot be sidelined by the present generation.
Even though the status of a Manipuri woman in general was not very significant individually, perhaps they were the main contributor to the economic prosperity. They were made as un-emancipated and unsatisfied participants, as the practice of polygamy were quite prevalent at that time. However most courageously it was the women who protested against the Political Agent of then Manipur- Mr Maxwell- against forced labor (Lalup Kaba) on Manipuri men. The aggressively angered women pressurized the British Government protecting their male counterparts against such system and the British had to withdraw it on 1904. That incident is still mark as ‘First Women war’ (Ahanba Nupi Lal) in Manipur. The women were involved in the wide spread demonstration against the increase of Water-Tax by the British Government. It is quite clear that, since then women in Manipur played unique roles not only in the economic activities but in political reforms too.
Again, keeping a critical view on the raise and cause of ‘Second Nupi Lal’ (Anisuba Nupi Lal) of 1939 against the trade policy of the then sate Maharaja has valued day by day while depicting the current status of contemporary women in Manipur.
The Manipuri women’s movement which demonstrated against the more export oriented trade policy of the state Maharaja and Marwari Monopolies, irrespective of the limited production of the food grains, later evolved into a movement of constitutional, political, and economic reforms in Manipur. Many of them got injured from the bayonets and butts of the soldiers’ weapons and many of them were thrown to ponds by the soldiers on that cold winter day of December 12, 1939 on which the present generation observe every year as ‘Nupi Lal numit’. Manipuri women’s responsibility towards its society have never been paralyzed ever, nevertheless, it’s been incarnated in a form against illicit drugs in the society since 1970s, and the movement of the ever approaching ‘Women Torch Bearers (Meira Paibi)’ started on 1980s.  
Since then and now Women folk of every community whether Meetei, Meetei Pangal (Muslim) or hill women have been taking major role in every aspect of life, society at large as per their capacities. However, the condition of Women during that period of Monarchy and that of British era and again after 60 years of independence is observed with mere difference. Of course, educational level among women has raised, many have joined different professions including politics, even if, larger section is running here and there at market to sale vegetables to feed their family. A number of them are selling their flesh in the war of survival. Women including children are working as house maid instead of attaining class in schools.
Do such responsible women folk in Manipur deserve to live with fear and insecurity in their mind from sexual perpetrators? Do they deserve to be victim of domestic violence, sexual harassment, rape, murder, kidnapping, trafficking and more? Do they still have to endure the ever victimizing social culture trend? Do they still have to keep mum while their elders make compromises with her rapist with a grand feast under the tradition of so called customary laws?
Definitely the answer will be a big ‘No’. By now they must be warming up for another Women War which ultimately has to fight against victimizing them in every aspect in the name of current social, political and economic unrest, conflict ridden sate, drug affected society and many other more excuses.

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