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As we all know, more than 21 young girls and women were mass raped and

molested in January, 2006 by armed UNLF and KCP militants at Lungthulien,
Parbung and adjoining villages of Tipaimukh sub-division in Manipur. After
persistent calls by civil society groups to probe the mass rape, the state government
of Manipur constituted an independent Judicial Inquiry Commission to be headed
by Retired Justice Rajkhowa on March 13, 2006, and to submit the probe’s report by
May 17, 2006.

Justice Rajkhowa went to the affected villages in Tipaimukh sub-division and
recorded the statements and testimonies of the rape victims, from April 21 to 24,
2006. The commission also made an on the spot visit of the inhuman crime scenes.
The commission is yet to furnish and submit its report even after two months have
lapped since its enquiry.

For reasons best known to them alone, two civil society organisations namely
Human Rights Alert (HRA) and Manipur Forward Youth Front (MAFYF) of Imphal
demanded the right to cross-examine the Tipaimukh rape victims all over again. The
Rajkhowa Commission conceded to their demands and thereby putting the innocent
and poor victims to go through another trial and tribulation.

The Hmar Women Association do not understand the motives and intentions of
these two supposedly human rights bodies. As women folk, we fail to understand
why these two bodies would like to satisfy themselves in facilitating for the
continued torture and exposure of the poor girls who have suffered enough. We also
feel that the Inquiry Commission is doing injustice to the victims by taking a long
time to submit its report. Longer extension of time to submit the report means
denial of justice and constant harassment of the poor victims mentally, physically
and psychologically.

As they so wished, HRA and MAFYF will take their sweet time to cross-examine
the rape victims during August 21 to 26, 2006. Twenty-eight (28) girls and women
who had given their testimonies to the Rajkhowa Commission during his previous
visit are now ready to stand before the hostile so-called human rights bodies and
their crafty lawyers to tell them the truth and the great pains they are going through
to this day.

In connection with this state of affairs, we fervently appeal all right thinking
citizens, women, youth and students organisations to show solidarity with our raped
and molested sisters and daughters. We request all Church and denominations to
have ‘mass prayer session’ on August 20, 2006 (night service) specifically for these
unfortunate girls and women so that God gives them the strength and courage to go
through in recounting and recollecting the ordeal and nightmare they went through
without fear and prejudice.

We also request all individual families to observe a ‘28 minute black out’ (light off)
on the night of August 21, 2006 to show solidarity to the 28 girls who will be cross-
examined.

Issued on behalf of the Hmar Women Association, General Headquarters by -

(J.L. Sawmi)
President

(D. Vary)
Secretary

Dated: August 12, 2006

[2007 HRO Archive]