Imphal, March 11: The alleged rape of a 16-year-old girl by an older family friend on the night of March 9 at Irengband has led to violent protests by residents of this village in Thoubal district.
While a mob destroyed the house of the alleged culprit, 28-year-old Huidrom Khaba, a brick kiln labourer, last morning, another mob tried to torch the house of his relatives in the village this afternoon.
Personnel from Kakching police station reached the village in the nick of time this afternoon and managed to prevent the torching.
Yesterday, however, the police had to fire tear gas shells to disperse the irate mob, but not before it had completely destroyed Khaba’s house. The police had subsequently arrested Khaba, who was hiding in a village drain, on the basis on a case registered against him.
The police said Khaba, a married friend of the victim’s family and a resident of the same village, allegedly raped the Class XI student after abducting her from her house on the night of March 9, after he had reportedly dined at their residence.
The girl underwent medical examination at the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences here today.
The police, however, declined to share the findings of the examination, maintaining that the “case is under investigation”.
Khaba allegedly abducted the girl when she came out of the house around 11.30pm to answer the call of the nature, the police said, adding that she said when she tried to cry out for help, he covered her mouth and nose with something, making her lose consciousness.
On waking up, she found herself alone at a nearby bamboo grove and realised she had been sexually assaulted.
She went back home and told her family members, who were sleeping when she was abducted, about the assault in the morning yesterday.
As the news spread, an angry mob gathered and destroyed the house of the accused.
Irengband villagers today formed a joint action committee to spearhead the agitation to seek justice in the case. The committee has resolved to expel Khaba and his family members from the village and has demanded prompt punishment to the culprit.
It has also warned that action would be taken against anyone from Irengband or neighbouring villages found providing shelter to Khaba and his family members.
“There is tension in and around Irengband. Police personnel have been deployed in the village to prevent outbreak of further trouble. No untoward incident took place today,” Sanjay Singh, a resident of the area, said.
The police said the situation was tense but under control.