KOHIMA: A number of women tribal organisations in Nagaland on Saturday held a protest rally here and demanded severe punishment of rapists and those who paraded disrobed women in the ongoing Manipur turmoil. Condemning the killing of people, burning of houses and religious places in Manipur, they called for immediate intervention by the Centre in restoring peace and normalcy in that state.
They held banners and placards, some of which read ‘We condemn parading of women and gang rape’, ‘Stand up for women rights’, ‘Stop the violence, start the healing’, ‘We want peace in Manipur’, ‘Rape is a punishable crime’ and ‘No mercy, Hang the rapists’.
The women organisations who convened at the PHQ junction here were from Angami, Ao, Chakhesang, Lotha, Pochury, Rengma, Sema and Zeliang tribes of Nagaland and were supported by Central Nagaland Women Association (CNWA).
“A candlelight rally or punishment will not help to stop rapes. There should be a strict rule to punish rapists … They should be killed, hanged or burnt alive. They should be treated the way they are treating women. New and stricter rules have to be made to check the rape menace in the country in general,” CNWA president Atoli Sema told reporters on the sidelines of the programme.
Speaking on the occasion, their leaders said the organisations stood together with the women of Manipur in their sufferings “in the brutal hands of unthinking savage criminals”.
They said the groups were also with others who suffered and continue to endure abuse and violence in silence.
“We are ashamed that we were helpless when such heinous crimes are committed (against women). We are sorry that the society has failed you (the oppressed women of Manipur),” they said.
A special prayer was held for the victims and their families and for restoration of peace in Manipur.