Imphal: Manipur Alliance for Child Rights (MACR) on Wednesday appealed the state government to disburse funds related to child sexual assault (CSA) cases which, the child rights body claims, have been pending for several years.
At a press conference held in Imphal, MACR state convenor Montu Ahanthem said that in about 79% of the child sexual assault cases reported in the state annually, the process to get compensation has been delayed by at least two to three years.
“It is our humble appeal to the government of Manipur, nodal agencies and others to release the child sexual compensation funds as soon as possible,” Ahanthem added.
MACR has been spearheading in child rights advocacy and training the state police who have been working closely with CSA cases on how to deal with victims. The child rights-based organisation also assists victims in filing petitions against the culprits and availing compensation funds and various welfare schemes from the government.
According to MACR officials, the organisation has recorded over 350 unreported CSA cases in the last two to three years, however, most of them have been delayed by years.
As per the Criminal Amendment (Law) Act, 2018, it has been made mandatory to complete rape trial within two months from the filing of charge sheet, besides mandatory completion of investigation by police within two months.
“But in Manipur, every trial has been taken an average of three years and getting compensation takes more than a year, which is far beyond the expected justice,” said MACR core committee member Kisam Pradipkumar.
Non-payment of compensation to the family of a four-year-old deceased girl from Senapati, who was raped and murdered on December 25, 2015, stands as a conspicuous example of such disgraceful procedure, he said.
As per their information, the final judgment of the trail was announced only on August 1, 2018, three years after the incident happened with recommendation of compensation.
The organisation demands the authorities to do justice by disbursing the due compensation to the deceased family through completing any pending procedure as soon as possible.
During a press conference, MACR also pointed out that the village-level child protection committees (VLCPs), which are supposed to be in the villages under the Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) and run by the social welfare department, have been constituted in only 88 villages out of the over 3,000 in the region.
MACR has urged the state government to set up fast-track special courts in every district for speedy trial of POCSO Act cases and constituted VLCPs in all the villages of the state.