Cry for HDR’s exit, red corner against Julius gets louder

SHILLONG: Pressure is mounting on the State Government and the Police Department as people from different walks of life are demanding the resignation of Home Minister HDR Lyngdoh, whose family owns Marvelene’s Inn, and asking the police to issue a red corner notice to all states against MLA Julius Dorphang who is accused of raping a minor.
Addressing the gathering at a meeting convened by TUR and CSWO at Bethany Society on Tuesday, Angela Rangad, said, “The Minister, who is in charge of Home (Police), should step down to ensure an independent inquiry into this case. I will not buy their (the owners’) story that they were unaware of the racket. There has to be an independent inquiry as other people might also be involved.”
“If the Home Minister declines to step down then Chief Minister Mukul Sangma should resign as he ought to take full responsibility of the matter and ensure action against the two MLAs (Lyngdoh and Dorphang) who are members of the MUA government. The voices of the people need to be heard. Not one of the women representatives has come out to speak against the incident. The society has degraded to a low level,” she added.
The activists also demanded that the guest houses and the hotels which were mentioned by the 14-year-old victim be shut down and their licences revoked. They also wanted the owners to be booked and blacklisted when implicated.
Alleging that the State Government is encouraging ‘sex tourism’ by endorsing such guest houses, TUR’s Rangad said, “Guest houses are doing business without any regulations by the State Government. There should be a review of skill development and tourism policies in the State which is aimed at sexual exploitation.”
On the absconding Mawhati MLA, Rangad said, “It is a matter of shame that he is absconding and if there is nothing wrong, then he should cooperate. There should be provisions to regulate guest houses and it is a huge racket involving many people.”
“The POCSO Act, 2012, and the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 2013, should be invoked to ensure that investigation is carried out in a time-bound manner. The investigation has to be completed within three months and there should not be any interference by police or others,” she added.
CSWO president Agnes Kharshiing told reporters, “A rally will be held on January 11 to raise our demands at the same time asserting that enough is enough, it is time we take on the reins.”
The meeting resolved to set up a hotline number with the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights where complaints on trafficking and sexual exploitation of minors can be lodged.

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