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Sex racket case: MLA sent to judicial custody

Shillong:Meghalaya legislator Julius Dorphang, who was booked under POCSO Act and anti-trafficking Act in an alleged sex racket involving a 14-year-old girl, was today remanded in 14 days judicial custody.

District and Session Judge E Kharumnuid sent Dorphang, an independent legislator who is supporting the ruling Congress in the state, to 14 days judicial custody after the five-day police custody ended.

Dorphang, who had co-founded an armed organisation until he gave up arms in 2007, was arrested from an inter-state bus terminus in Guwahati and booked under section 366(A) of IPC, sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act) and Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act (ITPA).

Under Section 366(A) of IPC any person who induces any minor girl to do any act with intent that she may be, or knowing that it is likely that she will be, forced or seduced to illicit intercourse with another person will be punished with imprisonment which may extend to ten years and will also be liable to fine.

Police did not seek extension of his custody as the legislator was cooperating with the investigators and claimed he has admitted to his crime.

At least two FIRs were filed in two districts against the legislator for allegedly sexually exploiting the girl in two locations in these districts on several occasions, police said.

The sex racket came to light after an employee of a guest house owned by senior Congress leader and Home Minister H D R Lyngdoh’s son was arrested.

The victim was rescued from near the guest house and brought to the police station where she allegedly named all those involved in exploiting her.

Women activists have been demanding that Chief Minister Mukul Sangma should drop Lyngdoh to allow a free and fair probe in the case.

Meanwhile, Dorphang’s aid and a former militant Elbert Shemphang Kharlukhi and another person Nirdesh Jain were arrested for their alleged involvement in the sex racket also involving the same girl, police said.

Superintendent of Police (city) Vivek Syiem said Jain who hails from Chatarpur district in Madhya Pradesh and is a manager of a petrol outlet in East Jaintia Hills district, was arrested from his hideout in Guwahati last night.

He was today remanded in five days police custody.

Kharlukhi was arrested today from near the SP’s office, he said.

With the two arrests, a total 11 persons, including Dorphang, have been arrested till date, he added.