Minister won’t resign over rape case: Meghalaya CM

Shillong/Itanagar, Jan 28 (IANS) Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma on Saturday said Home Minister Horju Donkupar Roy Lyngdoh will “not resign” in wake of opposition demand over the alleged rape of a minor girl at his son’s guesthouse here.

“There are law provisions on when I can ask any of my colleagues to resign. As of now, the Home Minister will not resign,” he told journalists here.

“Have faith in investigation and judiciary. Our administration of justice is vibrant, insulated from all manipulations. That much I can assure you. As far as our state is concerned, no one can tamper with the process of law,” Sangma said.

Sangma was reacting to the demands from several quarters, including the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), for the minister’s resignation.

Earlier, Lyngdoh told IANS he will not resign.

“I have not done any wrong. I do not run the guesthouse, which is run by its management. I have given police a free hand to investigate. If need bem police can question me. Therefore, I will not resign,” the minister said.

Four people had allegedly raped the 14-year-old girl at Marvelene’s Inn, the guesthouse run by Lyngdoh’s son Nathaniel Osbert Rymmai.

Meghalaya Police has since arrested 16 people, including Independent legislator Julius Kitbok Dorphang, in connection with the sexual abuse of the girl at various guesthouses and a government-owned resort.

BJP Secretary in-charge of Meghalaya Nalin Kohli questioned the ruling Congress-led government for turning a deaf ear to the resignation demand.

“With what face is the Congress politicising former Governor V. Shanmuganathan’s behaviour. They should first answer why is the Home Minster still in office and what action is being taken against him. A 14-year-old girl was repeatedly raped in a guesthouse owned by him and various complaints already exist,” Kohli told IANS.

Leader of Opposition Donkupar Roy said the Chief Minister should relieve Lyngdoh of his portfolio to ensure free and fair probe.

Civil society groups — Thma U Rangli (TUR) and Civil Society Women’s Organisation — too reiterated their demand for the minister’s resignation.

“He (Lyngdoh) should immediately quit. He cannot be so stubborn in such a sensitive case. He cannot say he is not interfering and giving a free hand to police to investigate when he is still the Home Minister,” TUR leader Angela Rangad said.

–IANS

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