Julius Dorphang is accused of raping a 14-year-old girl. (Photo Courtesy: Meghalaya online news and tourism website)
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Meghalaya’s Militant-Turned-Neta Arrested for Raping Minor

Meghalaya MLA Julius Dorphang, accused of raping a minor girl, has been arrested in Guwahati and been brought to a Shillong police station.

After a non-bailable warrant was issued against independent legislator Julius Dorphang, the arrest was made late night on Friday.

Dorphang, a militant-turned-politician, was a former rebel leader of the outlawed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) and a supporter of the Congress-led government. He absconded after police registered a case against him.

The incident came to light when the minor victim managed to escape from the Ribong guest house on 15 December and went to Labon police station for help.

The guest house, ‘Marvelenes Inn’ in Rilbong is owned by the family of HDR Lyngdoh, the Meghalaya Home Minister.

Lyngdoh is also under the radar for his alleged involvement in the sex trafficking racket.

Police are investigating the case independently. I am not involved in this case. Police should thoroughly probe the matter and for this, we are open to giving replies to any questions by the police.
HDR Lyngdoh

Usha Deb Barman, a waitress at the Ribong guest house, has been arrested after the victim lodged an FIR claiming that the waitress had been exploiting her for past one year. The FIR revealed that the minor girl was exploited by the woman in her house besides sending her to guest houses and hotels.

The district session court issued the non-bailable warrant against Dorphang after he failed to appear before the Investigating Officer in the case.
Public Prosecutor IC Jha 

Dorphang is booked under section 366 (A) of the IPC and a case has been registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and the Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act.

Apart from Dorphang, five of the eight people, including four women named in separate FIRs, have been arrested.

On Tuesday, two civil society groups, including the powerful women's group, Civil Society Women's Organisation (CSWO), had asked police to issue a red alert for Dorphang and reiterated their demand for the resignation of Home Minister HDR Lyngdoh.

A rally will be held on 11 January to raise our demands, at the same time asserting that enough is enough, it is time we take on the reins.
Agnes Kharshiing, CSWO President

(With inputs from The Shillong Times and IANS.)