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State Police inaction helped trafficking racket to thrive

Probe only after FIRs by child rights chief

SHILLONG: The sex racket involving a group of traffickers and varied clients thrived under the nose of Madanrting police station for more than a year without being noticed, thereby exposing police’s lack of alertness and poor intelligence gathering.
It was only after the girl reported the matter to Laban police station on December 16 last after running away from her guardian, Mamoni Parveen residing at Demthring under Madanrting, after she was sexually abused at Marvelene’s Inn in Rilbong on December 15 night that the entire episode began to unravel.
In fact the house owner, Wanlambok Khonsgit (Jhandu) from Demthring, who sexually abused the minor girl thrice, the traffickers, Mamoni and her husband Sandip Biswa, and other accomplices Tarisha Mary Kharbamon and Mona Lisa Shangpliang were residing at Demthring and many of them, including Mamoni, were tenants of Jhandu.
Several clients were also brought to the rented house at Demthring.
In addition, the scrap deal shop run by one Ali, Mamoni’s stepfather, is adjacent to Madanrting police station. Saheb Ali, the manager of the scrap deal shop had sexually abused the girl in the shop.
The stepfather, who used to quarrel with his wife, did not have any fear of the police.
“Police is in my pocket,” was the response of Ali to his wife and mother of Mamoni, Sabina Begum.
Curiously, the case that was to be followed up by Laban police was immediately shifted to Madanrting defying logic as the crime first surfaced under Laban police station. The only case with Laban police station now is the recent FIR filed by TUR and CSWO against the owners of Marvelene’s Inn at Rilbong.
The case was split into three to be investigated by three investigating officers, one at Laitumkhrah police station (Julius Dorphang case), another at Madanrting police station (cases of house owner Jhandu Khongsit and petrol pump worker Nirdesh Jain) and others by a woman police officer at Sadar police station though the case was first lodged at Laban police station.
Another glaring aspect was the initial dilly-dally by the police to pursue the crime in right earnest as the Chairperson of the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Meena Kharkongor, had to step in to file FIR against one of the accused, Mawhati legislator Julius Dorphang, which compelled the police to follow up the matter.
Kharkongor had also filed a series of FIRs regarding the matter so that the investigation is on right track.
Sources said there were also differences between the chairperson and the police as the latter did not like the active steps she had taken to pursue the case whereas the police reaction to the crime was slow.
Sources added that the statement of the victim to the police would have been enough to arrest Julius Dorphang on day one, but the failure on the part of the police to act soon after the FIR was lodged by the girl gave enough time to Dorphang to escape from the State only to be arrested from Guwahati after eleven days.
There were also lapses in the investigation as initially many accused were not booked under POCSO, but later police took corrective measures.
In the beginning, Section 5(iv) of the POCSO Act was not included by the police while booking Dorphang and its inclusion was an afterthought following the intervention of the Chairperson of the child rights commission.
Moreover, it is yet to be known whether police quizzed the women who brought the minor girl to Shillong from Ichamati.

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