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Rape accused Meghalaya MLA appointed assembly committees member

Shillong: Rape accused Meghalaya legislator Julius K Dorphang has been appointed members of two assembly committees, causing an uproar in the state with the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (SCPCR) leading the protest.

Dorphang was arrested along with several others in a case of rape of a 14-year-old and charged under the POCSO Act.

He has been made a member of the Privilege Committee and the Subordinate Legislation Committee, according to the latest notification issued by the assembly secretariat on Friday.

The indpendent legislator is a supporter of the Congress- led Meghalaya United Alliance headed by Chief Minister Mukul Sangma.

Speaker A T Mondal confirmed and defended his appointment, saying no one has approached his office against the appointment of Dorphang.

“He (Dorphang) was not disqualified. He is still an MLA and it is a routine thing that an MLA will be accommodated in any of the committee of the assembly,” Mondal told PTI over phone.

Angry women activists met SCPCR chairperson Meena Kharkongor today demanding that the commission come forward and protest.

Later condemning the appointment, the SCPCR chairperson said the commission has resolved to write to the Speaker and other members of the committee to drop the accused MLA.

Kharkongor said, “The appointment of Dorphang in a top assembly committee is highly questionable at a time when I am due to depose before a POCSO court shortly in which the MLA in question is charged with.

Dorphang was arrested from Guwahati in January this year and was booked under sections of IPC, Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act and Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act.

—PTI