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