In a boost to the Manorama Devi raping case, the Guwahati High Courthas allowed Manipur to re-open the probe. It is a move, which couldhave a direct impact on the future of the Armed Forces Special PowersAct in the state.
Manorama Devi was allegedly raped and murdered by Assam Rifle personnelin 2004. It was a protest against the Indian Army that had shocked theentire nation. 32-year-old Manorama Devi’s brutalised body was found onJuly 11, 2004.
Picked up by jawans of the Assam Rifles without an arrest warrant, shewas allegedly raped and murdered by them. Security forces though hadchallenged a probe ordered by the state government against the jawans.But after 6 years of legal struggle, the Guwahati High Court hasfinally allowed the Manipur Government to act on the enquiry report.
Retired Justice C Upendra Singh who headed the one-man enquiry in theManorama case said, “I gave a finding against the security people andthen the security people made an appeal to the High Court. They dowhatever they like, they have no regard for the law of the land.”
In 12 instances between 1996 and 2007 Justice Upendra has foundsecurity forces guilty of excesses. But no action has ever been takenagainst those involved. He insists the root cause of these violationsis the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, which was imposed in Manipur in1980
It might still be a long wait for justice for many families in Manipuras incidents of alleged and murder by security forces keephappening in regular intervals.