"What was the police doing" SC cracks down on State, Centre in Manipur viral video case

The top court demanded answers for why the police waited a fortnight to file an FIR after the violent sexual attack against two Manipuri women.

Yasmin Tinwala

The Supreme Court on Monday questioned the Centre and Manipur state government on the delay of action by the police in the case of two women being paraded naked and raped by mobs in the state. The questions were made while a bench headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud was hearing the centre's request to transfer the Manipur sexual assault case from strife-torn Manipur to a different state. Pointing out that since the incident took place on May 4 and the police took about a fortnight to file a First Information Report (FIR) on May 18, Chandrachud asked, “What were the police doing from May 4 to May 18? An incident came to light that women are being paraded naked and at least two were raped. What were the police doing?”

Who was named in the FIR? Nobody was named. In which case what was the police doing for 14 days?,” he further asked. The court maintained that it did not want the case to be handled by the state police and suggested monitoring the investigation, which was agreed to by the centre. The court also questioned about the rehabilitation packages being offered to victims and emphasized that the seriousness of the incident cannot be reduced by comparing it to other similar instances of violence against women in different parts of the country. "We would also want to know the package for rehabilitation being provided to the state for affected people. Inform us what kind of legal aid you are providing to victims," it said. Meanwhile, the two victims of the incident filed a case against the central and state governments and have requested the court for a fair and impartial inquiry. Experienced lawyer, Kapil Sibal who is representing the women in court spoke about the police's role in the violent incident during the July 31 hearing in SC. "The police, instead of taking the women away from the mob, took them towards the crowd and abandoned them to their fate. One of the woman has lost her father and brother to the mob’s violence. There is no information still about their bodies,” he was quoted as saying in media reports.

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