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When the savior turns perpetrator

The recent incident about a married girl having illicit affairs with another male partner which went viral in social media created a sense of anguished to almost every people of the state. The moral of the married lady is indeed questionable as it infringed the rich cultural tradition of the people of this state in general and the Meitei Community in particular. Such act of women have never been tolerated by the Manipuri society, any community and local women bodies always consider such illicit affairs as an insult to the community and for that reason there were no dearth in mob action, no matter the rules of law established by the state does not permit to take the law in their hands. Manipur had witnessed many such incidents. News reports about civil society tonsuring such women are not new and ostracizing of such woman from the locality are common happenings.

However according to legal experts, any act by civilian, no matter how genuine is their action, it is crime to take the law in their own hand. Of recently, the government of Manipur had even expressed serious concern about any form of mob violence.

In the incident stated above luckily, it is not the community that comes forward, even though criticism to the act of the lady flooded in Social media. No criticism from any of the Women’s organizations who were active in policing of the morals of women community came forward. But contrary to the series of events related to this and the follow up, the people across the state learnt that it was a police team and the Chairperson of the Manipur State Commission for Women who came to meet the lady in question. Reason for the visit of the Chairperson to the residence of the lady is yet to be find out but according to a complaint lodged by the lady to the Chief Minister of Manipur it is stated that the Chairperson of the Manipur Commission for Women and an Officer in Charge of Sekmai Police Station came and forced her sign a divorce paper . She even stated that the police officer and the Chairperson threaten her of dire consequences if the paper was not signed.

Before, Imphal Times concern is the deteriorating morals of the women folk (not all). But now, if what the lady had written to the Chief Minister stands true than definitely the fate of the lady of the state is in grave danger. The Women Commission is supposedly established as a statutory body to protect the rights of the women community of the state, seem to be acting for favour of male folk without conducting any kind of official formalities.

According to the opinion of some senior colleague,  visiting to a client’s (or victim’s) residence by a chairperson of a statutory body is nothing wrong, if the situation demands. But in the current issue we may observe from two angles. 1) in the present case the lady, is the aggrieved party and a victim also. The authority may visit her residence or wherever she lived, if the she requests; enquire about the incident and collect first hand report personally. He further said that, the recent happenings made her shameless and became laughing stock. From this angle the chairperson may visit the victim’s residence and, 2) in this case she is not the real victim as she framed somebody of some charges. In such situation the chairperson’s visit is unwanted. If she wants full report of the incident she may call both the parties, jointly or separately.

In the divorce case before giving a final word a full counseling is highly recommended. And one more important point to ponder is, both the parties (wife and husband) should agree divorce in one voice. If a party (wife or husband) opposes the case remains pending. And, if the applicant refuses to withdraw the case, after counseling, it will led to mediate (negotiation) by a competent authority or authorised person.

In the present case, as reported by a section media, the chairperson herself brought the divorce paper and took signature of the lady (willingly or unwillingly as contradictory reports came in). Such act of the chairperson arose many questions.

How long the divorce paper was pending in the commission? Did the commission tried for counseling? Did the aggrieved party approach the commission that she is willing to sign divorce paper? Why the commission is so eager to take signature of the aggrieved party? What is the harm by delaying to get signature, at least some few days? Is the divorce case is within the purview of the women commission?

Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times has more than 15+ years in the field of Journalism. A seasoned editor, was a former editor of ISTV News. He resides in Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai, with his wife and parents. Rinku can be contacted at [email protected] 

1 comment

  • Montu Ahanthem
    Montu Ahanthem Tuesday, 03 December 2019 21:28 Comment Link

    Is the Women commission competent authority for processing the divorce process, the Bar Association of Manipur and the hon'ble courts should intervene in this matter as the statutory institutions have turn into an instrument for people in power and the truce of the public is fading off day by day.

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