Expressing shock and dismay over the act of granting an anticipatory bail to a person accused of raping a minor girl, the All Inpui Students’ Union (AISU) has threatened stringent public actions if justice is not promptly delivered in the case.
“We expect all functionaries including lawyers, police, service poviders, NGOs, local bodies, counselors and most importantly the judiciary to be more sensitive in the matter of sexual assault on minor girls. Ironically, the Special Court (POCSO), Senapati has granted an anticipatory bail to a rape accused without applying the judiciary mind and against interest of the victim girl,” President, AISU Jesse Bariampan stated in a press statement.
“We, therefore, demand that the culprit be arrested and prosecuted as per the law and in accordance with the prevalent provisions under POCSO, IPC and NALSA (Child),” the students’ body asserted, while appealling to the state government, departments and authorities concerned to inform the victim’s family regarding free legal aid, relief in the form of compensation to the minor girl etc.,
“Failing this, we would be compelled to take up strong course of actions along with like-minded and right thinking civil organizations and the public,” it cautioned.
The accused person namely, Gangpi Gangmei, 26 years, s/o Adam Gangmei, a resident of Chini Inkhon, P.O. & P.S. Bishnupur, Kangpokpi District, Manipur, allegedly raped a minor girl over a period of 9 months.
The accused person who is a police personnel threatened the victim that she would be killed if she disclosed the matter to anyone, the statement continued.
“We are shocked to learn that the legal institution has taken such a grave offense in such a light manner. The minor girl kept the matter in secret, as she was scared of her life as the accused person is a police,” it said.
The matter only come to light after the accused person himself narrated the story to his friends under intoxication. Subsequently, the victim confirmed the offense committed on her and also the family members of the accused person apologized for the crime commited by their son and the village court too have confirmed it.
“Now, there is little room of doubt left about the ordeal that the victim minor girl had gone though, and accordingly the family of the minor girl lodged a police complaint and an FIR has been lodged at Bishnupur police station, being FIR No. 21(10)2020 WP-BPR under Section 6 POCSO & 506 IPC. The first rape and sexual assault incident occurred in the month of January 2020 and continued until September 2020,” the statement said.
The statement maintained that there is no provision for bail in the POCSO Act; the offenses under the Act are non-bailable. “Generally, it is presumed that all suspects are innocent until proven guilty but in case of offenses under POCSO the presumption is opposite, i.e. sexual offenses under POCSO are considered offenders as guilty until proven innocent. This implies that the offender is guilty until he is declared as innocent and no bail can be granted. The punishment for offenses under Section 6 is an imprisonment of not less than ten (10) years to life imprisonment and a fine for offenders. Hence, we cannot accept the anticipatory bail granted to the accused person and demand the judiciary, police and all concerned authorities to punish the culprit in accordance with the law without bias or favour. It is the duty of the court to inform the victim’s family at the event of any bail application filed by the accused person. However, anticipatory bail has been granted without the knowledge of the victim family, which is a miscarriage of justice,” it added.