A Manipuri actress has alleged that she was molested by a cadre of the rebel Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah), sparking outrage in the state. Locals took to the streets in Imphal on Friday, demanding immediate arrest and strict punishment for Livingstone Anal, who is said to be an NSCN-IM cadre. Film actress Momoko alleged that Anal molested and assaulted her, while she was anchoring a music concert on December 19. Momoko told mediapersons on Friday that she was molested in presence of the security personnel, who did not take any action to help her. "He is an NSCN (IM) cadre.
During the programme he was carrying arms and he molested me in front of the security personnel. Even the security did no say anything; they did not even help me. The security, police, or those who carry arms are not respecting women," said Momoko. The protesters proceeded towards the state legislative assembly, holding placards and banners reading ''Punish the culprit'', ''Erase NSCN-IM from the surface of Earth'' and ''We condemned brutal act of Livingstone''. Momoko later met Manipur Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh and demanded legal action to be taken against the accused. Expressing serious concern over the incident, another Manipuri film actress, Bala Devi, said it is the duty of the security personnel to provide protection to women. "It''s not only for us, it''s for the women, for the girls, for the society, they all are against it. So, we want people to help us, we want all civil services, all security to secure us," said Bala Devi. Anti-rape protests swept the country after the gang rape of a medical student in a moving bus in New Delhi often referred to as the ''rape capital'', on December 16 sparked protests from all quarters of society.
The Delhi gang rape victim, who is on ventilator support, has severe genital, abdominal and head injuries and is battling for her life in a city hospital. The National Crime Records Bureau has reported 24,206 rapes in 2011 - an almost 10 percent rise over the previous year. Women in India face a multitude of threats, from illegal abortions of female foetuses due to a preference for sons, to the murders of brides by in-laws for want of more dowry, child marriage and human trafficking. Gender abuses are more common across India''s conservative northern belt - which includes Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Bihar - largely due a deep-rooted mindset that women are inferior and must be restricted to the role of homemakers. Powerful community groups of elderly men, known as "Khap Panchayat", which unofficially govern in north India''s Haryana''s state, have responded to the recent rapes by demanding that the age of marriage be lowered to 16 years from 18, saying it would stop boys and girls "straying" and prevent rapes. (ANI)