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Life term plea in rape case

- Manipur actor-singer, police commando found guilty

Imphal, Dec. 10: The prosecution in Imphal West schoolgirl gang-rape case will plead for life term for the two convicts when the court announces its sentence tomorrow.

District and sessions judge, Manipur East, A. Guneshwor Sharma, had yesterday convicted singer-actor Thongam Tarun, 28, a resident of Thangmeiband here, and police commando constable Yumnam William, 28, a resident of Khagempali in Imphal West, of gang-raping a Class XII student inside the cabin of a restaurant at Changangei in Imphal West along the Imphal Airport Road on October 20 last year. The quantum of punishment will be announced tomorrow.

“The prosecution is preparing to plead for life term for the two convicts,” prosecution director Ngangom Tejkumar said today.

The maximum term for the convicts under the sections under which they were booked is life and the minimum is 10 years.

The prosecution’s case is that William and Tarun raped the girl inside the restaurant after spiking her drink. The duo had abducted her from Imphal East on her way to school. They gagged her and took her to the restaurant where they gave her the drink and after she fell unconscious, they raped her.

This is the second conviction in a rape case in Manipur this year. In June this year, another Imphal court had sentenced four persons, including two India Reserve Battalion personnel, to life imprisonment for raping a 40-year-old woman in Bishnupur district in 2012. The four had stopped the truck in which the woman was travelling to Imphal to sell dried chilly. They took her to a nearby paddy field and raped her.

Expecting trouble from women activists, the Imphal West administration has made elaborate security arrangements for tomorrow’s hearing. Yesterday, protesters had tried to attack the two convicts when they were being brought out of the court here after their conviction. An official source said armed police personnel, including women, would be deployed inside and outside the court complex to prevent protesters from “creating any trouble”.

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