Imphal: A woman pursuing PhD at JNU, Delhi, has alleged kidnapping, confinement, threat to rape, threat to murder during her visit to her home in Imphal. 

According to the victim Anamika Ahongshangbam, on December 12, she was called by an acquaintance, Rajkumar Master Meitei, on the pretext of having lunch in Lilong, Imphal West. 

However, Meitei took her to his aunt’s house in Mayang Imphal near his house. Right after lunch, to her utter surprise and without any prior indication, Master’s family coaxed her to marry him. The family persuaded her to accept the proposal despite her outright rejection. As the matter escalated, she tried to leave the house, but they snatched her phone and locked her in the house. 

Imphal West SP Shivakanta Singh told EastMojo, “After the case was registered, the police team went for a search, but the man involved in the case went into hiding. Later, he took an anticipatory bail from the court. We are trying hard to cancel the anticipatory bail.”

Th Luxmi, SDPO, Singjamei Imphal West, said Rajkumar Meitei appeared at the police station and gave his statement. “(The) complaint as such raised by the lady seems to be genuine. We are giving back our report to the court so as to cancel the anticipatory bail so that we can arrest him,” she told EastMojo

Civil society organisations (CSOs) strongly objected to the incident and issued a statement. In a joint press statement by Apunba Manipur Kanba Ima Lup (AMKIL), Extrajudicial Execution Victim Families Association (EEVFAM), GirlUp_Manipur, Mingsel Foundation, Human Rights Alert (HRA) and Women in Governance Network (WinG), the CSO alleged kidnapping, confinement, threat to rape and murder.

The statement issued by the CSOs said Ahongshangbam protested the wrongful confinement, which caught the attention of the neighbourhood. But to her utter surprise, none came to her rescue and trivialised the matter as a family scuffle. 

“Even as she vehemently protested, the family and folks of the locality threatened her that they will perform the “Keina Katpa” ritual and publicly humiliate her. Fortunately, she survived the ordeal and managed to reach home the next day,” read the CSO statement.

The CSOs further maintained that as organisations concerned with gender justice, they were shocked to notice the insensitivity of the family members and local community to the plight of JNU scholar Ahongshangbam when she protested the forced kidnapping.

“This is a total denial of an individual’s consent in determining her most important decision in life and a serious affront to the human right to the women. Archive patriarchal traditions of expecting women to submit to the pressure of the so-called “social norms” should be consigned to the flames of history, and we should rebuild an egalitarian society where men and women enjoy equality with the same rights and dignity,” added the CSOs.

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