A 56-year-old woman was allegedly molested by a neighbour at Kakching in Manipur on Saturday night. The complaint was lodged at the local police station on Sunday morning but police was reportedly reluctant to register FIR and arrest the culprit.
According to locals, the woman was sitting outside her house along with her daughter-in-law when neighbour Ibomcha, 54, grabbed and outraged her modesty.
"She fainted and had to be admitted at Kakching Community Health Centre," said Madhu Chandra, spokesperson of North East Support Centre and Helpline, an NGO that took up her case.
The woman's family members hired a lawyer and lodged a complaint at the Kakching police station but the police refused to register FIR until members of the NGO spoke to the officer in charge.
"The OC said the complaint could not be registered and action taken as it was a case between neighbours," Chandra said, adding he relented only after being told that the matter would be taken up with higher authorities.
"We are probing the case. If the man is found guilty, he will be dealt with strictly," a senior police officer said.
As per the National Crime Records Bureau, Manipur had in 2011 secured the fourth spot among Indian states vis-à-vis crime against women.
"Tendency of the police to ignore such cases encourages the perpetrators to make a mockery of the law," a rights activist said from state capital Imphal.