Imphal, Aug 28
A team of Childline Thoubal, who were on their duty to rescue two children from getting married at Thoubal district, was assaulted by the family and locals of the groom yesterday evening. Driver of the vehicle that the team member of Thoubal Childline were travelling sustained injury after the members of the groom pull him down and assaulted. Other members of the Childline Thoubal, who were on the vehicle, were also physically abused by the family of the groom. Right activists condemn the physical abuse of the Childline team and demanded immediate arrest and punishment of those involved in the assaulting of the team.
Narrating about the incident that happened yesterday at Keirembikhok and Wangbal of Thoubal district, Nepram Kenedy said that the team received a call through its toll free no. 1098 on August 26 about an arrangement of a marriage of underage bride groom.
At around 4 pm of August 27, the team of the Childline went to the residence of the groom at Keirembikhok Awang Leikai and gave counseling about the impact of Child marriage to the society. Later, the same team then went to the residence of the bride at Wangbal and gave similar counseling and told both the bride and the groom to come to the office of the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) Thoubal along with their family members, Kenedy said and added that when they return back few persons led by one Usham Rustam Singh (25) son of U. Bisharup Singh of Keirembikhok Awang Leikai along with the family members of the groom halted them at Wangbal Thongjao area and started attacking them.
“They first pull down our driver and assaulted him in front of us and later they turn towards us and started abusing us physically”, Kenedy said.
Attacker on Thoubal District Childline Team must be arrested
Youth’s Forum for Protection of Human Rights (YFPHR) in statement strongly condemn the action of the promoters of Child Marriage for their alleged attack on the Thoubal District Childline Team on August 27 committed by the family members of the Bridegroom from Wangbal while they were intervening into a matter of Child Marriage as per the report received through their 1098 Childline helpline number.
“Such an act of attack to the child workers such as Organizations working on the field of child wouldn’t have been happened if the Child Institution of the state discharged their duty with commitment and dedication. It clearly indicates that CMPO, Thoubal District failed to discharge its duty as provided under the Section 16 (3) of the Child Marriage Prohibition Act, 200" , the statement said.
The Forum further said that the incident is one of the outcome of the failure of the Child Marriage Prohibition Officer, DCMPU, CWC and the child institutions of the state who only waits for the complaint and the action thereafter. It could be observed that the child institution of the state lacks responsibility, commitment and dedication which needs a serious attention to reform these institutions at this point of time, it added.
The Forum appealed the Officer-in-Charge, Thoubal PS to initiate a sue motto case and the offenders who promotes Child Marriage and attack to the team of Childline be arrested immediately.
Rabi Takhellambam, a resident of Kairembikhok Mayai Leikai, ThoubaI District has been in the field of Journalism for more than 10 years. Rabi, is well known for his reporting from Thoubal side and Indo-Myanmar border. Rabi is also a member of All Manipur Working Journalist Union, the parent body of Journalist Union in Manipur. He can be contacted by email at [email protected]