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Financial support for rape victims

Imphal, Nov. 25: The social welfare department has started a scheme for extending financial assistance to rape victims and four victims have already been provided aid under the scheme, social welfare minister Ak. Mirabai Devi said today.

“Violence against women is on the rise in Manipur. Our department has launched a scheme this year for providing financial assistance to rape victims and we have so far extended help to four victims,” the minister said, addressing the inaugural programme of International Fortnight Observation Protesting Violence Against Women here today.

Devi said the district and state level committees formed for screening of cases would recommend victims to whom the benefits of the scheme would be extended.

She said a sum of Rs 70,000 each has been given to four victims after the district-level committees recommended their names for extending the financial aid. Officials said the financial assistance was given to victims for counselling and legal matters.

“Proper investigation into the cases and examination of police records and medical examination records were completed before the recommendations,” the minister said.

The fortnight is being organised by Women Action for Development and a series of programmes and deliberations would be held during the period, with a rally to be organised on December 9 here to protest against crimes against women.

Victims of rape and other crimes spoke about their ordeal during the inaugural programme.

“My husband suspects I had consented to the act. I am living in a nightmarish condition. To humiliate me more, police have let the attacker go scot-free,” Maloti Devi (name changed) said.

M. Sobita, secretary of Women Action for Development, said in most cases, the culprits escaped punishment and it encouraged others to commit the same crime.

She demanded that proper investigations should be carried out and a special court set up to hear such cases.

Devi did not give any statistics but said crimes against women were rising at an “alarming level”.

According to a record compiled by Women Action for Development, an NGO, 104 cases of rape were reported between 2005 and October this year in the state with 21 cases reported this year. During the same period, there were 24 cases of rape and murder, with two cases reported in 2012. There were many rape and molestation attempts, it said.