Close to midnight on July 10, 2004, a group of Assam Rifles personnel barged into the house of Thangjam Monorama, the second of six children in a Meitei family in Manipur’s Imphal East. She was 32. She was dragged out of her house, “interrogated” under a drizzling sky and later taken into custody. That was the last her family members saw her alive. Monorama’s bullet-riddled body was found about 3 km away the next morning.
Assam Rifles, which accused Monorama of being a cadre of the proscribed PLA, claimed that she was shot while trying to flee. Rights activists and fact-finding teams found many loopholes in the “story”. Injury marks on her body pointed to torture, forensic tests on her clothes found semen stains, suggesting she was raped, possibly multiple times. But no one has been indicted so far, the case never went very far as the Assam Rifles took refuge under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA), a controversial law that gives immunity to security personnel.