The police in Meghalaya arrested one of its own personnel for allegedly raping a woman in her tea shop.
“A woman filed an FIR on Wednesday, saying the officer in charge of the Mawngap police station raped her on February 2. The officer was arrested in Kolkata, where he was undergoing training, and brought back to Shillong on Friday,” said A.R. Mawthoh, Deputy Inspector-General, Eastern Range, Meghalaya.
The arrest comes barely a week after the detention of five men, including a juvenile, accused of raping a 15-year-old girl.
On April 11, the teenage girl was allegedly gang-raped near Tura, headquarters of the West Garo Hills district, after the men gave her a lift in a car. The girl, her mother later said, did not suspect the accused as she knew two of them.
The accused were caught and brought to the Tura police station along with the victim, who narrated her ordeal.
A police officer said one of the accused, a 16-year-old, has been sent to a juvenile home and will be tried by the Juvenile Justice Board, while the other four were arrested and will be tried under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012.
The two cases — barely a week after a video of the molestation of a teenage girl in a car was uploaded on social media — have underlined the matrilineal hill State’s battle with increasing crimes against women.
On April 8, a teenage girl was allegedly molested by five people, including two former militants and a forest guard, after getting her drunk.
They videotaped her ordeal and uploaded it on social media. The five accused were arrested on the basis of video.
Growing crime graph
Crime against women in Meghalaya came into focus after two high-profile cases in January 2017, when V. Shanmuganathan had to resign as Governor over an allegation of sexual impropriety, and independent MLA Julius Kitbok Dorphang, an ex-militant, was arrested for raping a 14-year-old.
In 2017, the police recorded 238 cases of rapes, including two of gang-rape. There were 137 other cases that included assault on women with intent to outrage her modesty, and cruelty by husbands or relatives.
The year also saw 298 cases registered under the POCSO Act, though some of them involved boys.