Imphal, Aug. 14: Women protesters, including relatives chased and tried to attack two persons accused of rape on the campus of Manipur East sessions court today but were rescued by police.
The two accused — Yumnam William, 28, and Thongam Tarun, 27 — are facing trial for allegedly raping a Class XII student in October last year.
William, a police commando driver, and his actor-singer friend Tarun allegedly raped the girl inside an Imphal restaurant after spiking her drink. The prosecution said the duo abducted the girl from Imphal East while she was on her way to school. The two gagged her and took her to the restaurant where William assaulted her after she fell unconscious.
The duo surrendered the next day after the victim’s mother lodged a complaint at Lamphel police station in Imphal West.
The sessions court judge A. Guneshore examined the prosecution witnesses today and fixed September 2 as the date for hearing defence witnesses. The counsels of the two accused will produce two witnesses during the next hearing.
“The two should not escape punishment and they should be hanged for ruining my daughter’s life and to put an end to such crimes once and for all,” the victim’s mother said.
As the court proceedings were in progress, a large number of women gathered at the main entrance of the court building.
Tarun came out first running through the back door, catching the women by surprise. The slogan-shouting protesters chased him but he managed to jump into the police van waiting in front of the main entrance.
A few minutes later, William, too, came running out of the back door. The police shielded him from the protesters and took him away from the court complex. Later, the protesters demanded proper punishment for the duo and demonstrated at the entrance gate.
During the last hearing held on July 30, women protesters had tried to attack the accused.
Many restaurants in and around Imphal city have separate cabins for lovers and student groups and women’s organisations regularly raid such restaurants and round up those caught indulging in immoral activities.