Rose Ningshen was born on February 2, 1954 at Kumbram, a small village located under Phungyar sub-division in Ukhrul district. She was the third child of Angti Ningshen and Pinu Ningshen. On March 4, 1974, she was raped by BSF officers who were posted in the village. Two days after the incident, Rose committed suicide.
Speaking exclusively to The Sangai Express, Rose’s younger sister Azingla recounted, “On March 4, 1974, youth of Kumbram village were practising song for a big event which was to take place in the village in April. Suddenly, more than 500 BSF personnel led by its officers arrived in the village in search of Naga insurgents.
“The officers personally singled out four females from the crowd to help them out in arranging accomodation of which Rose was also included. Arrangements were made to accommodate the officers at one Khashung Mangkung’s house. The three other females were asked to fetch other bedding material while Rose was asked stay back for other tasks. Taking advantage of the situation, Rose was raped by two BSF officers Captain Niki and Major Bomdi,” Azingla said.
When the three friends of Rose returned, they found her weeping. When asked, Rose confided that she was raped by the two officers. On March 6, 1974, two days after the incident, she was found dead hanging in kitchen.
Recalling the day of her death, Azingla said, “That day, my parents had gone for shrimp fishing. It was at around 9 am when we found her lifeless body hanging from the kitchen ceiling.”
Azingla said that her sister left a suicide note which was written in Tangkhul dialect.
In the note addressed to her brother Angam, Rose said, “In this world which is filled with sin, my existence is shameful and disgraceful for our family. Today is my last day and nobody can save me. When Amei returns home, tell him about the incident. Justice will never be delivered as they (officers) will get away with it. My brother, do not cry and tell the same to mother, father, brothers and sisters. We shall all meet in heaven.”
The family buried Rose’s body in their garden. After a week, police came and dug up the grave to conduct a post mortem. Rose’s family has not received the report of the post mortem examination till today.
Rose’s brother Angam was also a BSF personnel at that time. For enquiry, Angam was taken to BSF headquarters in Churachandpur district and Pallel in Chandel district. No positive result came out from that as well. A series of protest went in vain. Angam received Rs 15 for travel expense which was the only financial assistance ever provided to the family.
Azingla said, “My sister did not die due to illness. She was raped and she committed suicide as she could no longer bear the trauma. Villagers were scared to raise their voice against the security personnel as they would torture the villagers. While conducting an operation, they would take the villagers along. We wanted Rose to rest at least in a better place. So the villagers under the guidance of Tangkhul Shanao Long contributed money and set up a memorial stone on March 6, 2013 at her graveyard.”
Source: The Sangai Express