IMPHAL: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is set to investigate nine additional cases in strife-torn Manipur, taking the total number of cases handled by the agency to 17, reports in local press revealed.
The Central agency, whose current caseload in the state includes eight cases, including two related to alleged sexual assaults on women, is set to take one more case involving alleged sexual assault within Manipur’s Churachandpur district under its jurisdiction.
Any incident involving crimes against women or sexual assault could potentially be referred to the agency with utmost priority and in a conscious effort to uphold sensitivity and facilitate accurate investigation, the CBI has enlisted women officers within the state for cases concerning crimes against women.
However, this extensive probe isn’t devoid of its challenges. Operating within a society fragmented along ethnic lines, the CBI faces the daunting task of ensuring that its efforts remain impartial and transparent.
Moreover, since several of the cases under the CBI’s scrutiny may invoke the provisions of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act of 1989, these cases, are likely to be handled by officers holding the rank of deputy superintendent of police.
The CBI is expected to transfer all forensic samples to its Central Forensic Science Laboratory to maintain the integrity of the investigative process. This decision aims to prevent any potential questions regarding the fairness of the investigation arising from sample collection or analysis by representatives from either of the opposing communities.
Earlier on July 29, the central agency had officially taken over the investigation into the alleged sexual assault on two women by a mob in Manipur’s Kangpokpi district on May 4. The FIR was officially lodged, citing charges of abduction, gang rape, murder, and use of criminal force against a woman with the intent to outrage her modesty.