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Manipur Video: NCW Chief Responds to Flak Over Late Action, Here's What She Said

NCW chief Rekha Sharma reportedly said that she wrote three letters to Manipur authorities but received no response.

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National Commission for Women (NCW) Chairperson Rekha Sharma recently responded to the mounting criticism over the alleged inadequacy of action on the commission’s part in the aftermath of the instance of the disrobing and parading of women in Manipur

CONTEXT: While the instance took place on 4 May, media reports have said the NCW chief only took suo motu cognizance after the video went viral earlier this week.

WHAT DID NCW CHIEF SAY? Thus, in response to all the flak coming her way, Sharma reportedly said that she wrote three letters to Manipur authorities but received no response.

As per Hindustan Times, Sharma said that she had forwarded all the complaints received by her to the chief secretary (CS) and director general of police (DGP). She added:

“Since the complaint was from people not based in Manipur and in fact, not even in the country, we had to verify the authenticity of it. Therefore, we contacted the authorities in the state to verify them, but there was no response."
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WHAT DID THE NCW CHIEF REPORTEDLY WRITE ABOUT?

According to The Indian Express, in a letter dated 29 May, she wrote to he state’s Chief Secretary Vineet Joshi saying that NCW “has taken cognizance” of the violence that had ensued in Manipur on 3 May, and that “ It 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.”

She also added: “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.”

On 19 June, she reportedly told Joshi that NCW had received a representation from “individuals outside Manipur, out of which one was from outside India” about “the recent unfortunate clashes amongst the communities in Manipur.”

But, according to The India Express, Sharma did not answer their question about whether the representations flagged the incident of women being paraded naked.

THE COMPLAINT TO NCW:

As per Hindustan Times, the North American Tribal Association along with two Manipuri women activists wrote to the NCW on 12 June and said:

“On May 4, two women from B. Phainom village of Kangpokpi District of Manipur were disrobed, paraded naked, beaten, and then encircled by a marauding Meitei mob and raped in public. The state police commandos remained mere spectators while the mobs remained silent spectators to the lynchings and torching of homes. The two survivors are housed at a Churachandpur district relief camp.”

Thereby they asked the commission to constitute a committee to inquire.

According to India Today, it also said:

"We would like to draw your serious and immediate attention to the ongoing ethnic conflict and humanitarian crisis in Manipur. Specifically, we make an urgent appeal to NCW to address and condemn sexual violence against Kuki-Zomi tribal women by Meitei vigilantes in the Manipur conflict.”

(With inputs from Hindustan Times, The Indian Express and India Today.)

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