Julius lawyers file bail plea, withdraw later

HDR says free hand given to police, no need to step down

Court issues arrest warrant

SHILLONG: After the lower court issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against rape accused legislator Julius Dorphang on Tuesday evening, he has no other option but to surrender before the court or to the police.
An official source said Dorphang’s lawyers on Wednesday filed a bail petition in the court but later withdrew the application gauging the mood of the court and the prosecution.
When contacted, East Khasi Hills SP M. Kharkrang said after the non-bailable arrest warrant was issued, the legislator is yet to surrender. Police are also making efforts to arrest him, he added.
A case was registered against Dorphang at Laitumkhrah police station under Section 366 (A) of the IPC read with Section 3 (a)/4 of the POCSO Act and under Section 5 of the Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act (ITPA).
However, police failed to add Section 5 (c) of the POCSO Act which is related to the rape of a minor by a public servant.
Home Minister HDR Lyngdoh, who is under fire for the involvement of the guest house run by his family in the case, told reporters on Wednesday that police have been given a free hand to probe the case and there was no need for him to step down.
“Police should thoroughly probe the matter and for this, we are open to give replies to any questions by the police,” Lyngdoh said.
According to the Home Minister, he had not put pressure on the police in anyway nor interfered in the investigation.
“Police are investigating the case independently. That is why many arrests were made. I am not involved in this case,” Lyngdoh said.
The Home Minister said on the eve of counting of votes for the District Council by-polls on December 15 that he and his son had gone to Marvelene’s Inn at Rilbong to meet the counting agents.
Coincidently, it was on the same night that the girl was brought to the inn by the traffickers.
According to Lyngdoh, as per his information, in the absence of the guest house manager on December 15 night, the waiter sneaked into a room along with the minor girl and as the client took some time to come, the girl was locked up in the room by the waiter.
“If an employee is involved in the crime, why the owner should be blamed,” Lyngdoh asked.
The Home Minister also said after the incident, strict instructions were given by his son, who is the proprietor of the guest house, that no locals will be allowed to book rooms in the guest house.
He, however, admitted that the CCTV at the guest house was not functioning as it was under repair.

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