Mob trial to shame couple backfires, 11 held

IMPHAL, 7th Oct: Even as the government has passed an ordinance against mob violence across the country, still many people have been taking the law into their hands by punishing a person(s) without legal process or authority thereby creating inevitable crimes, causing instability in the society.
Many people of the state were in for a rude shock when they came across a video clip on social media showing a married woman and a bachelor obliged to solemnisation of ‘Keina Katpa’, the bigoted practice of forced marriage for having illicit relationship at Upokpi Khunou in Bishnupur district on Sunday around 9 am. The video that went viral on social media left many people in pain as the solemnisation was conducted in front of the woman’s daughter who was seen hugging her mother when the irate locals were hurling abusive words and taking pictures of the scene.
The solemnisation of the illegal ‘Keina Katpa’ was performed inside a primary school at Upokpi Khunou where a married woman identified as Potsangbam ongbi Naocha Devi (27), wife of Tomba of Kha Potsangbam Awang Leikai and a bachelor identified as Khundongbam Kamal Kumar (30), son of Modhu of Nachou Kha Khunou were allegedly found in an objectionable manner. Naocha and Tomba have three children, a 12-year-old son, a 10-year-old daughter and another 7-year-old daughter.
According to report, as usual Naocha, who was accompanied by one of her daughters, and Kamal met at a primary school at Upokpi Khunou on Sunday around 9 am. Naocha’s daughter was staying a little bit far away from the room where the couple was meeting. All of a sudden, locals who thronged the area rounded up the couple and performed ‘Keina Katpa’. After performing the illegal act, the duo was taken to PEDWA Club, Potsangbam where the woman was humiliated by cutting her hair in front of her daughter. The whole scene was captured in video on mobile phones.
On hearing the news of the incident, a police team came in and rescued the couple. After taking statements from the duo, the woman was handed over to the man. As the police could not identify those persons who indulged in the mob violence, no one was arrested on the day but after a video of the ordeal went viral on social media on the next day, 11 people involved in the act were arrested.
Addressing media persons at the conference hall of SP Bishnupur on Monday, SP Priyadarshini Laishram assured that necessary action will be taken up against the arrested 11 people as per the law of the land. The arrested people have been identified as Keisham Chandrakala Devi (54), wife of Deben of Kha Potsangbam Maning Leikai Ward No 7; Potsangbam Bijenti Devi (45), wife of Tamphalakpa of Kha Potsangbam Mayai Leikai; Potsanghbam Phaja Devi (54), wife of Kondumba of Kha Potsangbam Mayai Leikai; Tourem ongbi Guneshwori Devi (42), wife of Ningthem of Kha Potsangbam Mamang Leikai; Nongmaithem Damu Singh (35), son of Biradhaja of Kha Potsangbam Mamang Leikai; Oinam Shanti Devi (47), wife of Kumar Singh of Upokpi Khunou Ward No 7; Ningthoujam Sundari Devi (40), wife of Bimol Singh of Upokpi Khunou Ward No 10; Salam Manisana Singh (35), son of Jugin Singh of Upokpi Khunou Ward No 10; Potsangbam Hemchandra Singh (37), son of Suranjoy of Kha Potsangbam Mamang Leikai Ward No 7; Kangabam Inaocha Devi (46), wife of Saratchandra of Kha Potsangbam Mayai Leikai Ward No 8 and Oinam Premkumar Singh (36), son of Thoiba of Upokpi Khunou Ward No 10. Premkumar is said to have captured the video of the incident on his mobile phone.
Police have registered an FIR No 65(10) 2019 BPR against them under Section 147/341/352/354/506/509. SP Priyadarshini also expressed displeasure over the inhumane act meted out to the little girl. Talking to this daily, Naocha’s husband Tomba, who worked as a labourer, said that there is no misunderstanding or issues between him and his wife.
Meanwhile, a combined team of Child Welfare Committee, Bishnupur officials led by its chairperson and Childline Bishnupur officials headed by its co-ordinator visited the residence of Tomba at Kha Potsangbam on Monday to take stock of the incident. The team informed this daily that they would ensure future life of the daughter by taking up all possible steps.

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