Meghalaya MLA booked in sex racket case

India, January 03, 2017 – The Assam Tribune

SHILLONG, Jan 2 – Meghalaya police today booked Mawhati legislator, Julius Dorphang under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act for allegedly exploiting a minor girl sexually.
Dorphang was accused by a 14-year minor for sexually exploiting her at guest houses on a couple of occasions.

Based on the victim’s information, the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (SCPCR) filed an FIR against the legislator at Laitumkhrah Police station.

“We have registered a case against Julius Dorphang under POCSO,” Superintendent of Police (City) Vivek Syiem said. The MLA has been booked under section 366 (A) of the Indian Penal Code read with section 3 (a) of POSCO Act.

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Syiem said the police has started looking for the legislator, but could not locate him. “The hunt is on for the accused, but he has not been found yet,” the SP added.

Dorphang’s alleged involvement in the crime came to light after a minor fled from a guest house, Marvelene’s Inn, run by State Home Minister HDR Lyngdoh’s wife. The minor reported to the nearest police station that she was sexually exploited.

Based on the information, police arrested one Mamuni Parveen, who had brought the child from a village last year and later allegedly forced her into prostitution.

The police also arrested some employees of Marvelene’s Inn involved in the racket and other accomplices of Mamuni and also a “client.”

The victim also reportedly identified Dorphang, before the SCPCR, as one of the accused who had sexually exploited her at one of the guest houses in Motinagar. The legislator has, however, denied the accusation.

Meanwhile, Civil Society Women’s Organisation president, Agnes Kharshiing demanded that the legislator must be tracked and arrested immediately.

“He should not be granted bail. Crime against a child is a serious offence, especially by a legislator, who is elected to uphold and frame laws. The MLA’s arrest would set a good precedent that law is equal for all,” she added.

PTI adds:Police were investigating Dorphang’ role in the case after which they will move the court for an arrest warrant, Syiem said.

Dorphang, a legislator from Mawhati and also the founding chairman of the outlawed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) militant outfit, was not available for his comments.

Based on the victim’s statement, four other women in the city were picked up and subsequently arrested last month for allegedly acting as a pimp for the girl.

Meanwhile, SCPCR chairperson Meena Kharkongor has directed the public prosecutor IC Jha to oppose any bail application of the arrested persons involved in the case. – PTI