Uttar Pradesh Police arrested Meghalaya Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Vice President Bernard N Marak, accused of operating a brothel at his farmhouse in Tura, on Tuesday, 26 July.
Earlier on Tuesday, Meghalaya Police had put out a lookout notice for the BJP leader and a Tura court had issued a non-bailable warrant against him on Monday.
Marak, a former militant leader, had been on the run following a police raid at his farmhouse from where six minors were rescued and 73 people were arrested on 23 July.
The police had recovered seven vehicles, eight two-wheelers, about 400 bottles of liquor and over 500 packets of contraceptives.
The BJP leader is facing charges under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Immoral Trafficking (Prevention) Act, 1956.
Marak, the then self-styled chairman of disbanded militant outfit Achik National Voluntary Council (B) has more than 25 criminal cases registered against him since the early 2000s across the northeastern state.
Girl Sexually Assaulted at His Farm House
Marak's farm house – Rimpu Bagan – is reportedly where a girl was sexually assaulted, and a case was filed in connection with that in February, police told news agency PTI.
The survivor had told the court that she and her friend were taken to Rimpu Bagan by the accused. The accused persons hired a room there and sexually assaulted her multiple times.
Multiple verbal complaints were also received from residents of Tura town, alleging that immoral activities were going on at Rimpu Bagan, following which the search operation was planned.
‘Attempt to Malign My Image’: Marak
Marak, an elected member of the Garo Tribal Autonomous District Council, in a statement, attacked Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma for the raid at the farmhouse, denying allegations of running a "brothel." The BJP is a part of the ruling Meghalaya Democratic Alliance, led by Sangma's NPP.
"The CM is getting desperate as he knows he is losing his South Tura seat to the BJP. The raid at my farmhouse is a desperate attempt by him to malign my image and a political vendetta," he claimed.
"Law is law irrespective of any party and whether or not he is part of the government. Unpleasant things have happened and we will let the law take its own course," Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong said, rubbishing the allegation.
(With inputs from PTI.)