Consultation reflects on welfare of juvenile rape victims

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IMPHAL, November 5: A one day consultation on “Child Rights & Juvenile Justice” under the theme “Delivering justice to Rape victims” was held today at the Manipur Voluntary Health Association, Wangkhei Ningthem Pukhri Mapal, Imphal.

The consultation was organized by the Child Welfare Committee, Imphal East and attended by Legal Services Authority, member secy, A Guneshwor Sharma as chief guest, senior advocate, Kh Mani Singh as president and CRY, Kolkata sr manager Ashim Kumar Ghosh as guest of honour.

Addressing the consultation, Ashim Kumar opined that organizing such consultations would be beneficial for the state and its people.

He further urged all sections of the society to participate in such consultations to understand the issue and make the consultations more effective.

He said that even though the civil societies and NGOs in the state are always frontrunners and active on any issues confronting the state, when it comes to dealing with certain cases involving children and juveniles they seem to lack understanding.

Continuing on the much talked about customary laws of settling criminal cases including rapes by paying with objects and money to the victim, prevalent in certain areas of the state, he opined that such customary laws will only encourage the offenders.

Speaking on the role of judiciary in delivering justice to rape victims, A Guneshwor Sharma said the Child Welfare Committees have a big role while dealing with juvenile victims of rape cases.

He continued that the Delhi, Commission for Women has a set a guideline for rape cases establishing that a woman police of the state not below the rank of DSP should handle the case as IO.

He continued that Manipur should also have similar guidelines for dealing with such cases.

Kh Mani Singh in his presidential speech said that the recent increase in violence against children in the state only indicates that the state is degrading on every front.

Manipur lacks leaders and is a conflict state, he said before identifying India’s democracy as colonial democracy.

He lamented further that there is no governance in the state and that there is only a pretend government in the state.

He continued that to bring any positive changes in the state, everyone needs to be qualified and understand the issues at hand.

He elaborated that the media also plays an important role in bringing a change to the society and the state.

During any rape cases, people must unite together to bring justice to the victim and punish the offenders according to the law, he said.

Answering to the peoples’ complaints that there is no justice in the land; the senior advocate said if one takes the case to the court of law and let it take its own course, then all offenders are always punished.

He further elaborated that anyone found guilty in a rape case can be handed a jail term of seven years, if the accused is from the general public; however if the accused found guilty happens to be from the police, the jail term could be from 10 years to life imprisonment.

Meanwhile, he continued that the law also identifies all involved in mob violence like burning of an accused’s house as a crime.

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