Meghalaya’s Independent MLA Julius Kitbok Dorphang, who had remained untraceable since the police was on the look-out for him after he was accused of rape of a minor girl on December 15, 2016, was finally arrested from Guwahati late Friday evening. “Dorphang was arrested from the Inter-State Bus Terminus in Guwahati a little before midnight on Friday by the Meghalaya Police with the help of the Guwahati Police. He was probably trying to escape to some other place by boarding a bus,” Shillong City SP Vivek Syiem said over the telephone.
Dorphang, Independent MLA from Mawhati LAC in Ri Bhoi district that shares inert-state boundary with Guwahati, was on Saturday remanded in five days police custody by a court in Shillong, SP Syiem said. “We were looking for him for the past several days, but he had managed to remain untraceable until we tracked him down in Guwahati,” he added.
A former militant, Dorphang, who became MLA in 2013, was hiding since the police had slammed Section 366 (A) of the IPC, Section 3 (a)/4 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act) and Section 5 of the Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act (ITPA) against him. A Shillong court had issued a non-bailable warrant against him on Wednesday.
While the victim – a 14-year old girl – had filed an FIR on December 16 accusing the MLA of sexually exploiting her in a guest house in the Meghalaya capital the previous evening, another FIR was filed against him by Meena Kharkongor, chairperson of the Meghalaya State Commission for Protection of Child Righst (MSCPCR) on Friday. With the arrest of MLA Dorphang, the total number of persons arrested in connection with the case – which has turned out to be not just of one rape, but a case of trafficking too – has risen to seven. The incident has also caused ripples in the political circles, especially after allegations that the girl was raped in a guest house in Shillong owned by a relative of a powerful minister in the Congress-led government of Mukul Sangma.