TODAY -

Molest of Naga girl goes unreported
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, March 18 2013: On the night of December 28, 2012, Jenifer (name changed), a 21-year old Naga girl from Nagaland along with her friend from Arunachal Pradesh, were resting in the room given by one Elan Chelian, the owner of Classic Aachi Restaurant, Chennai, where both had been asked to stay and work.

But around 8.30 pm, the owner came to their room to ask them to come along with him to "buy some household goods" .

The girls refused.

But the owner forcefully dragged Jenifer out of the room and drove her to Marina Beach where he launched a sexual assault on her.

Jenifer protested and started screaming for help but she was threatened to keep the mouth shut over the whole incident otherwise she would be "finished off".

By this time, her friend from Arunachal Pradesh had intimated Zeliangrong Students' Union, Chennai (ZSUC).

A ZSUC member called to ask the owner about the girl but he denied any knowledge.

Meanwhile, Jenifer, who was left in the middle of the road, found her way back on foot, reaching her place at 10 pm.

The ZSUC rescued the two girls that night itself.

They are now under the protection of Zeliangrong Welfare Committee, Chennai.

"On December 29, we had a meeting to establish the facts of the case, but could lodge a complaint with the Tamil Nadu State Women's Commission only on January 2 due to holidays," informed legal advisor to Zeliangrong Welfare Committee, Chennai, Paul Newme, who is also the Secretary of seven states for Human Rights Protection, an NGO supported by the UN High Commission for Human Rights.

The State Women's Commission immediately forwarded the complaint to the State Police Commissioner, who ordered an investigation into the case.

The accused was arrested on January 3 under Section 354 (sexual harassment) and Section 506 (i) (threatening) of IPC, but only to be released on bail.

"On January 4, we went to the spot for investigation along with the police who promised to take action.

We were even given police protection on January 2-3 but now the case has become very weak because the civil society is not raising any voice against this case," Newme lamented.

In her statement to Egmore Police Station in Chennai, the victim wrote that she became a "soft target" because she is from "ST community" and that she feels that she will be attacked again by the accused.

Naturally, she also feels "mentally disturbed".

Strangely, the case has gone unreported in the media.

The Naga Students' Union, Chennai is learnt to have approached for help but none has come forward.

"The girl, who was molested, does not speak English�they communicate only through Hindi and Nagamese.

She was so innocent that the owner of the restaurant took advantage of her.

We want to send a strong message to parents back home that that they should not send their children without the consent of the students' union in Chennai, and should know where their children are working and living.

Such incidents have happened many times before," requested Paul Newme.


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