Manipur video: NCW wrote thrice, drew no response from state officials

Sharma added that she had forwarded complaints received by a group in Manipur to the state’s Chief Secretary Vineet Joshi and DGP P Doungel on May 29.
NCW chairperson Rekha Sharma. (Photo|Twitter)
NCW chairperson Rekha Sharma. (Photo|Twitter)

NEW DELHI:  Facing heat over not taking up earlier the Manipur incident where two women were paraded naked, the National Commission for Women (NCW) Chairperson Rekha Sharma on Friday said that she had not received any response to three letters that she had shot to authorities in the northeast state. 

She said she wrote three letters – dated May 19, May 29 and June 19 - expressing concern regarding violence against women. But there was no response to her letters.  Her last letter to the state Director General of Police Rajiv Singh was on July 20.

As reports came out that the NCW chief had received a complaint about the incident of two women being paraded naked on May 4 in the ethnic violence-hit northeastern state but had not taken any action, Sharma shared the three letters with the media that she had earlier written to the Manipur officials in this regard. 

Sharma also vehemently denied that she had received any report of the incident whose video went viral, sending shock waves across the nation. The viral video surfaced online on Wednesday. 

As the video, which showed two women being paraded naked by a group of men, who also groped and sexually attacked them, caused global outrage, the NCW took to Twitter on Thursday to say that they have taken suo moto cognizance.

“We are in touch with the officers from Manipur...Not one specific but there were many complaints and that too from people outside India and Manipur. Firstly, it had to be clarified whether whatever was written was true. The Manipur Government has to clarify and if it is true then they have to work on it. So, accordingly, we wrote to them," she said.

“..we took suo motu cognisance when the video (of women being paraded naked) went viral yesterday," Sharma added.

She also said she flagged the issue of violence against women thrice in the last three months to authorities in Manipur.

Sharma said that she had forwarded complaints received by a group in Manipur to the state’s Chief Secretary Vineet Joshi and DGP P Doungel on May 29.

In her letter, she wrote, “ is extremely pertinent to respect the dignity and Fundamental Rights of all women and girls by ensuring food, safety, shelter and healthcare including distribution of sanitary napkins and special provision for lactating women in temporary shelters.” 

“In addition, a mechanism needs to be in place for quick response to the incidences of violence and harassment of women. Keeping in view the urgency and significance of the matter, I request the state government for immediate intervention in the matter and support to the affected women and take appropriate action in this regard,” the letter said.

On June 19, she wrote another letter to Joshi, saying that the NCW is in “receipt of representations regarding the recent unfortunate clashes amongst the communities in Manipur which has resulted in the loss of several lives and property while many have been displaced.”

On Thursday, she wrote to Joshi and DGP Singh to take immediate action on the incident.

In her letter to Joshi, she wrote, “The matter reported is condemnable in strongest possible words. I, therefore, urge you to look into the matter personally and ensure that strict action is taken against all the accused men and the investigation is accomplished in a time-bound manner.  A detailed report must be appraised to the Commission within four days.” 

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