Absconding Meghalaya MLA, accused of rape, arrested in Guwahati

07 Jan 2017 | Written by Ramya Patelkhana; Edited by NewsBytes Desk
Sex racket involving Meghalaya legislators

Absconding Meghalaya MLA and Congress supporter Julius Dorphang, accused of raping a minor, has been arrested in Guwahati.

The Meghalaya Police has been looking to nab the independent legislator, who went missing after his name emerged in a sex racket involving a 14-year-old's rape.

The police requested their counterparts in neighboring states to share information and arrested Dorphang with the help of Assam Police.

In context: Sex racket involving Meghalaya legislators

16 Dec 2016Rape victim accuses Meghalaya legislator Dorphang of rape

A 14-year-old rape victim filed a FIR accusing Meghalaya MLA Julius Dorphang of raping her in a Shillong guesthouse the previous day and named eight others in her FIR.

She told the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights how she was taken to several guesthouses and hotels.

She recorded her statement under Code of Criminal Procedure Section-164 and said Dorphang raped her twice.

A former rebel leader

Julius Dorphang is a former rebel leader who was the founder of the outlawed militant organization Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council. He surrendered in 2007 and later successfully contested the 2013 Meghalaya Legislative Assembly elections. Dorphang represents the constituency of Mawhati in the state assembly.
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Sex racket surfaces after a guesthouse employee is arrested

Sex RacketSex racket surfaces after a guesthouse employee is arrested

The racket surfaced after an employee of a guest house of Congress leader and Meghalaya Home Minister HDR Lyngdoh's son was arrested for forcing the victim into the sex trade in Dec'16.

The victim was rescued and brought to the police station where she had named all those involved in the racket.

Out of eight people, five, including four women, have been arrested.

Police looking at several angles

The Meghalaya Police claimed that they were examining several angles on the role of those accused in the sex racket, which allegedly involved several other politicians. People took to streets seeking the resignation of the state Home Minister.

AbscondingBooked under IPC Section-366(A)

Dorphang, the former leader of a militant organization, had gone into hiding after the police booked him under the Indian Penal Code Section-366(A).

A case was registered under Section 3(a)/4 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and also under Section 5 of the Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act.

SP (City) Vivek Syiem said the case was registered at Laitumkhrah police station.

Non-bailable arrest warrant

A local court issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against Julius Dorphang on 4 Jan, as he failed to appear before the police, after which the manhunt began. Women activists demanded CM Mukul Sangma to drop Lyngdoh from his cabinet.
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07 Jan 2017Absconding Meghalaya MLA, accused of rape, arrested in Guwahati

ArrestMeghalaya Police issues a look out notice

Superintendent of Police (City) Vivek Syiem said they had issued a look out notice and conducted raids in several places frequented by Dorphang.

He added many raids were conducted in Meghalaya and also in Assam on Thursday.

A joint operation, by the Meghalaya Police and Assam Police, in Hatigaon was also carried out but he was later arrested in Guwahati's Garchuk.

Leading social activist Angela Rangad's statement

"The Minister, who is in charge of Home, should step down to ensure an independent inquiry. I will not buy their (guesthouse owners') story that they were unaware of the racket. There has to be an independent inquiry as other people might also be involved."

29 Jan 2017Meghalaya CM refuses to sack Home Min over sex scandal

Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma has refused to sack state Home Minister HDR Lyngdoh over his son's role in the sexual assault of a minor. CM Sangma said "As of now...the law doesn't demand so."

So far, 16 people including an independent MLA have been arrested in connection.

The Congress government in the state has faced severe flak for failure to remove Lyngdoh.