The Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL, Mar 2: After a a ten day long ordeal in police custody, Maibam Naobi Chanu, said to be the girlfriend of slain PLA cadre Kh Vikas, was released unconditionally this evening by the chief judicial magistrate, Thoubal.
In a tearful interaction with mediapersons immediately after her release, Naobi told a harrowing tale of sadistic physical and mental torment at the hands of people whom she described as worse than savage beasts.
Speaking to media at the Khoyathong office of the Porei Leimarol Meira Paibi Apunba Manipur, Naobi informed that during the first two days in the hands of the police, she was constantly beaten, stripped naked and physically molested, and mentally tortured by ceaseless questions and obscene suggestions. She is not sure, but did not rule out rape during her many spells of unconsciousness.
Speaking of her arrest, she said that after joining Vikas`s funeral, she had changed her clothes and was lying in bed along with one of Vikas`s sister when commando personnel intruded into the house and called them out into the courtyard.
Even though Vikas`s mother identified them all as her daughters, she said she was dragged to the gate by the commando personnel and questioned who she had come with. Despite her answer that she had come alone, she was kicked and pulled by the hair, and thrown into the police vehicle, she said.
Thereafter, she narrated, she was blindfolded and the vehicle driven a distance. After they stopped, she said her clothes were torn and her breasts and other parts were repeatedly pawed. Apart from fondling her with their hands, an unidentified object was pushed inside her private parts, she said.
While being kept naked inside the vehicle, she said, she was constantly doused with water and mentally tormented with obscene suggestions.
After being tortured in this manner for around four hours, she was taken inside the commando unit camp at around 7 pm, where she was made to change her torn shirt in a room full of men
Throughout the night, Naobi said, she was kept blindfolded, and constantly questioned, accompanied by water being repeatedly poured over her.
Though offered food, she did not eat anything, except having some water to drink, she said.
Throughout the next day, February 22, the police personnel kept on beating her before handing over to the Lilong police station in the evening.
At Lilong police station, she stayed with some women home guards. While she was washing her clothes, she said, two men in civil dress who appeared to be commandos tried to approach her, but she did not speak with them.
At 11 pm the same day she was handed over to the Thoubal police station, she said.
Referring to her being remanded to police custody, she complained that the magistrate concerned did not hear her pleas that she was an innocent school teacher, and had no connection with any underground group.
Asked specificially by mediapersons whether she had been raped in custody, Naobi said while she had no direct knowledge of rape, there was a possibility, as owing to the constant beating and lack of food, she had fainted several times. There is pain and irritation while passing urine, she disclosed, but said only a medical examination will ascertain whether rape had occurred.
Maibam Naobi, it is pertinent to mention, was released unconditionally this evening at around 6:45 pm by the chief judicial magistrate, Thoubal.
Earlier, at around 4 pm today, the Committee on Human Rights, COHR, had been contacted by the Thoubal police with the information that Naobi would be released. COHR representatives along with representatives of the PLMPAM and Naobi`s parents thereafter collected her from police custody.