Brother still longs for justice in sister rape after 32 yrs

Brother still longs for justice in sister rape after 32 yrs

KUMRAM (Ukhrul), Sep 23: Since the day her lovely sister Rose Machui was found hanging inside a room in their homestead two days after she was gang-raped by security forces, a lingering fear still inhibits N Prengam from lodging a complaint at the proper forum or law courts. His sister`s rape, one of the most heart rending, involving security forces was hushed up through o a compromise between the family and the Border Security Force. The official version was that the death was caused by either an illness or else a case of suicide.

But, even after 32 years, Rose Machui`s brother, Prengam still long for justice and to this day the scars left by his sister`s ignominious demise refuses to go away.

Talking to this reporter , N Prengam bared his heart and expressed his strong condemnation and anguish over the manner true facts about his sister`s rape incident have been concealed.

Mentioned may made that Rose Machui was allegedly gang-raped by two officer of the Border Security Forces on the night of March 4, 1974 and she committed suicide on March 6, 1974 by hanging inside the kitchen of her own house. The two BSF officers were identified only as Major Bondir and Captain Negi.

In an exclusive interview, Rose`s surviving brother Prengam told this reporter that he is still fearful of complaining to higher authorities or at a proper forum for getting justice over his sister`s rape incident.

During the time, no one, not even the village elders, dared speak a word against the security forces. Security forces acted at their will and drive villagers to any direction they intended them to take.

Recalling that fateful day to this reporter, Prengam said that that about 500 personnels of the Border Security Force came to Kumram village for counter insurgency operation on March 4, 1974.

Every men and women of the villagers were called out and no one were allowed to move from the position they were told to hold. Three girls amongst the villagers including Rose were chosen by two BSF officers commanding the trooper to help them in preparing food and arranging bedsheets and blankets Prengam said adding the names of the other girls were Chonmila (now 47) and Thamila (now 52).

After both Chonmila and Thamila were told to procure extra cloths and blankets for them, the two BSF officers raped Rose inside a house in the village where the two BSF officers had chosen for their stay in that night.

"However, Rose did not disclose anything about the incident. We came to know about the rape incident when only a handwritten letter of her was found after she was found hanging inside our house", Prengam said.

Rose, as narrated by Prengam wrote, "Oh! my lovely brother, Angam, through this small piece of paper, I am delivering few words of my last moment of life that I do not want to live anymore on this earth full of disgrace and shame. I felt sad that I could no longer sleep with lovely Aphe (sister) as today is my last day.

No one can save my precious life and I have no other option but to follow the stream that life takes.

If my lovely friend Amei Stone happened to visit me, please tell him that the incident happened as I am telling you through this letter.

Dear brother, I believe that justice will not prevail in my case for they (security forces) are clever and powerful. Do not go for trial as I believe God will surely bring justice.

If I happen to go on life with the situation I was in, me as well as my family will be dishonored and I do not want to lead such a life. My brother, do not shed any tears or cry for me as I could no longer hear and see you. All of you lead life in a happy and joyous way and let us meet together in heaven."

Born to N Pinu (mother) and N Angte (father), on February 2, 1954, Rose Machui was a bright student of Grihang Sadar Patel High School, Grihang and she had cleared class IX and she was awaiting class X session to begin at the time of her death.

Both Chonmila and Thamila, who were with Rose moments before she was gang-raped, are still living and they still believe that justice will surely be delivered one day.

Sapamcha Kangleipal
Manipur Forward Youth Front(MAFYF)