Dorphang in police net

Mawhati MLA held in Guwahati; to remain in 5-day police custody

Julius Dorphang being brought out of the District and Sessions Court in the city on Saturday.
Julius Dorphang being brought out of the District and Sessions Court in the city on Saturday.

SHILLONG/GUWAHATI: Mawhati legislator and former HNLC chairman Julius Kitbok Dorphang was arrested by a joint team of Assam and Meghalaya Police from the Inter-State Bus Terminus (ISBT) at Garchuk on Friday night, a senior city police officer informed. He has been remanded to five-day police custody.
Dorphang came into police net after 11 days of search. Addressing a press conference on Saturday, Vivek Syiem, SP, City (Crime), said several places were raided and intelligence inputs led the police team to Guwahati.
“We finally arrested him around 11pm from ISBT Garchuk with the assistance of Guwahati City Police,” the SP said, adding, “He will be produced in the court of the Additional District Commissioner on Saturday and we are asking for police remand for five days.”
Syiem said the Assembly Speaker has been informed about the arrest and police hope to file charge sheet at the earliest. Ri Bhoi police will also ask for remand.
Though other sections of POCSO Act have been invoked, police have prayed to the court to add more rigorous charges under Section 5(c) pertaining to rape committed by a public servant on a minor.
Dorphang’s face was covered with a shawl when he was being led by the police into the court of the District and Sessions Judge late on Saturday afternoon.
Some relatives accompanying the arrested legislator walked hurriedly in front of him shielding his view from the media.  The Meghalaya Police had earlier issued a lookout notice against the legislator who was absconding after a court in Shillong issued non-bailable warrant against him on Wednesday last in connection with the case of sexual exploitation of the 14-year-old Ichamati girl. Meghalaya police also alerted their counterparts in the neighbouring states.
A joint team of Meghalaya and Assam police were conducting raids in various places in Guwahati since Thursday to nab the absconding MLA. The city police suspected that he was trying to board a bus to somewhere from Guwahati at the ISBT.
The minor girl had accused the Independent legislator of sexually exploiting her in a guest house in Shillong and on another occasion somewhere in Ri Bhoi. The 51-year-old militant leader-turned politician was the self-styled chairman of HNLC from 1993 to 2007. He surrendered in 2007 and was elected as MLA in 2013. The case was registered on December 24 in which Dorphang was the accused at Laitumkhrah PS. He left Shillong on December 27 and was absconding.

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