Meghalaya CM says won't sack home minster over rape at guest house owned by latter's son

Pressure has been building on Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma to sack his home minister HDR Lyndoh after a minor was sexually assaulted at a guest house belonging to Lyndoh's son. The demand has become particularly intense after V. Shanmugathan stepped down as the state's governor over an alleged molestation case.

Sangma, however, has refused to sack Lyndoh. "As of now, the law doesn't demand so," said Sangma, the chief minster told the press, adding, "Please have faith in the whole system of investigation and judiciary. Our administration of justice is vibrant, insulated from all manipulation."OPPOSITION DEMANDS REMOVAL

Opposition parties and a women's rights group have upped the ante following Shanmugathan's resignation over an alleged molestration case. "If he (Shanmugathan) can be asked to resign on moral grounds, why can't the home minister be asked to do so? We want a free and fair probe," activist Agnes Kharsiing of the Civil Society Women's Organisation was quoted as saying.

The United Democratic Party (UDP) and the BJP, among others, are also pushing the demand to remove Lyngdoh from his post "for an impartial investigation into the case."

Also read: Meghalaya Governor V Shanmuganathan resigns over sexual assault allegations

LYNDOH: POLICE CAN INTERROGATE ME The home minister, meanwhile, has been steadfast in saying that he is not in the wrong. "I did not run the guest house. The guest house is run by the management," Lyngdoh told the local media, adding, "I have given the police a free hand to investigate the case and find out the truth. If need be, the police can interrogate me too."

Apart from the chief minister, Lyndoh has seen support coming in from Conrad Sangma, an MP from Meghalaya, who has said, "Just because a crime happens in someone's building it does not mean he is responsible. Yes, if he knew about it then he should be removed."

So far, the state police have arrested 16 people in connection with the sexual assault case. Julius Dorphang the MLA from the Mawhati constituency is among those arrested.

Also read: Meghalaya MLA Julius Dorphang arrested on rape charges

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