Former Meghalaya MLA gets 25 years in POCSO case

Life sentence for three others who had trafficked the minor he was charged with raping

A court for the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) in Meghalaya has sentenced an extremist-turned-former MLA to 25 years in jail for raping a minor almost five years ago.

Special Judge Febroneous Silkam Sangma also imposed a fine of ₹15 lakh on Julius Dorphang besides sentencing three others to life imprisonment for trafficking the minor for him.

The POCSO court in Ri-Bhoi district headquarters Nongpoh had adjudged Dorphang, the former chairman of the outlawed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council, guilty on August 13. The quantum of punishment was pronounced on Tuesday.

Along with the ex-MLA, the court prescribed life sentence for Mamoni Parveen, Darisha Mary Kharbamon and Sandeep Biswa besides a fine of ₹1 lakh each.

Mamoni and Darisha were accused of procuring and inducing the minor girl for prostitution and abetment for other offences under POCSO.

The State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (SCPCR) had registered a complaint with East Khasi Hills district police on December 23, 2016, alleging that Dorphang had indulged in illicit sexual act with a minor girl, which was a violation of the child’s right to life and dignity.

The SCPCR filed another FIR on January 5, 2017, in Ri-Bhoi district alleging that Dorphang had committed a similar offence against the same minor somewhere within the district. A second criminal case was registered against him in the district following this FIR.

Dorphang went into hiding after these two cases and was arrested on January 7, 2017, from the Hatigaon area in Guwahati.

The ex-MLA was granted bail on medical grounds by the High Court of Meghalaya in November 2020. He was arrested from State capital Shillong and lodged in the Nongpoh district jail after his conviction on August 13.

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