Crime Is Crime: The Firebrand Who Forced the Meghalaya Guv to Quit

Rikynti Marwein, the journalist, exposed the former Meghalaya governor who was charged of sexual misconduct. 

Published
Women
2 min read

In 2017, on the 26 January evening, as the rest of India was winding up after a daylong Republic Day celebrations, a sudden news from Shillong sent shockwaves. The Meghalaya Governor, V Shanmuganathan, suddenly resigned that evening after grave allegations of sexual misconduct against him.

In fact, just two days back on 24 January, it was a small newspaper in Shillong – The Highland Post – which had published an investigative report, which exposed what was happening inside the Raj Bhavan.

The story was broken by Rikynti Marwein.

Rikynti Marwein with her son (Photo: Rikynti Marwein)
Rikynti Marwein with her son (Photo: Rikynti Marwein)

In October 2016, the Raj Bhawan wanted to recruit two Public Relation Officers. Rikynti was one of the candidates who was called in for the interview. Though she didn’t make it to the final list she became friends with the other candidates.

On 8 December, after the final round of interview one of the candidates messaged Rikynti where she told her how the Governor had allegedly misbehaved with her. He allegedly hugged and kissed her on the cheeks and had compared her to a Bollywood actress.

Rikynti Marwein with her son and husband (Photo: Rikynti Marwein)
Rikynti Marwein with her son and husband (Photo: Rikynti Marwein)

The girl was reluctant to report or speak out against the Governor, but not Rikynti. She decided to expose the Governor. Since the accusation was against a high office, the plan was to mount a consolidated effort by putting out the story in every newspaper in Shillong; many editors promised but backed out at the last moment.

On 24 January, Rikynti’s newspaper The Highland Post was the only newspaper which had broken the story.

The Highland Post report published on 24 January (Photo: Rikynti Marwein)
The Highland Post report published on 24 January (Photo: Rikynti Marwein)

The Governor had initially dismissed it. But when the staff of the Raj Bhavan wrote a letter to the President and the Prime Minister accusing the Governor of turning the Raj Bhavan into a ‘Young Ladies Club’, V Shanmuganathan was left with no other option.

On 26 January, Civil Society Women Organisation (CSWO) and Thma u Rangli (TUR) held a demonstration outside the Shillong Raj Bhavan, demanding immediate removal of the Governor. (Photo Courtesy: Angela Rangad/Thma u Rangli)
On 26 January, Civil Society Women Organisation (CSWO) and Thma u Rangli (TUR) held a demonstration outside the Shillong Raj Bhavan, demanding immediate removal of the Governor. (Photo Courtesy: Angela Rangad/Thma u Rangli)

He resigned on 26 January. Rikynti Marwein’s story published in a small newspaper showed a powerful man the door. And as Rilynti says, she’s not afraid of high offices – ‘A crime is a crime’.

Video Input: Manon Verchot

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