DCW chief Swati Maliwal reaches violence-hit Manipur
Maliwal had earlier alleged that the Manipur government denied her permission to visit the state to interact with survivors of sexual violence
Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief Swati Maliwal arrived in strife-torn Manipur on Sunday, July 23, a day after the state government allegedly denied her permission for the visit.
Earlier in the day, she said she will be going ahead with her planned visit to the northeastern state.
"Just landed in Manipur. I've sought time from CM @NBirenSingh ji. I hope he accepts my request at the earliest," Maliwal said on Twitter.
Upon reaching Manipur, Maliwal told ANI: "I will directly go to the CM's Office, I want to meet Chief Minister N Biren Singh. I want to meet the sexual abuse survivors and see if they have got legal aid, counselling or any compensation. I appeal to the Manipur Govt that I have come here to help the people of the state, please allow me to do that"
The DCW chief had alleged on Saturday, July 23, that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Manipur had refused to let her visit the state to interact with the survivors of sexual violence.
In a tweet on Sunday, Maliwal said she has written to Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh, seeking an urgent meeting with him during her visit.
"Manipur Govt recommended I consider postponing my visit due to law and order situation. After deliberation on their suggestion, have decided to fly to Imphal as planned. Sought time from Manipur CM. Will meet him and request him to come along to visit the sexual assault survivors," Maliwal tweeted.
She also shared a copy of a letter written to the Manipur chief minister on Sunday, urging him to facilitate her visit and assuring him that she would not do anything to create problems for his government.
"I seek an urgent meeting with your hon'ble self to discuss the extremely pertinent issue of the human rights violations and sexual assault cases occurring in Manipur...Several Manipuri women have come to Delhi in order to escape the ongoing violence in the state. I wish to discuss issues regarding their welfare as well with your hon'ble self," she said in the letter to Singh.
Maliwal also sought the chief minister's support in visiting the violence-affected relief camps where the victims of sexual assault are presently staying.
"I request you to kindly issue directions to the officers to facilitate my visit. As a fellow citizen of this country and the head of a statutory body protecting women and girls, I appeal to your hon'ble self to aid me in providing help and support to the sisters of Manipur. I assure you that I shall not be doing anything that creates a problem for your government during my visit to the state," she said.
"I assure you that I shall leave no stone unturned to support the Manipur government in its mandate to protect the rights and dignity of the women and girls of the state," she added.
Maliwal said a video clip showing inhuman atrocities against women and girls in the northeastern state has shocked the entire country and she wished to ascertain their well-being and provide support to them.
The DCW chief said she had written to Singh on July 20 and to the Manipur Police chief on July 21 regarding her visit to the state to interact with the survivors of sexual violence.
"A letter dated 21.07.2023 was sent to DM, Imphal who forwarded the same to Joint Secretary (Home) with the request to provide necessary support to the undersigned (Maliwal) and her team. The DM also gave us the contact numbers of the Joint Secretary (Home) who confirmed to us that we can travel to Manipur and he shall provide the necessary support to us in visiting the relief camps. Subsequently, we planned our travel to Imphal," Maliwal said in the letter.
"However, suddenly we received an email from the Joint Secretary (Home) requesting us to consider postponing our visit in view of the current law and order situation in Manipur," she said.
The Manipur Police has arrested five men and apprehended a juvenile in connection with the May 4 parading of two women naked in Kangpokpi district, officials said on Saturday.
With agency inputs