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Meghalaya Governor assures independent probe into arrested BJP leader’s case

Governor Satya Pal Malik. File.

Governor Satya Pal Malik. File. | Photo Credit: AP

: Meghalaya Governor Satya Pal Malik has assured the State BJP that the case against the party’s vice-president, Bernard Marak would be probed by an independent agency.

Mr Marak, also a member of the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council, was arrested from Hapur in Uttar Pradesh four days after the West Garo Hills district police raided his farmhouse on the outskirts of Tura town on July 22. He was accused of having turned the farmhouse into a brothel and selling liquor illegally.

Five minors were also rescued from the farmhouse, police said. The raid was in connection with a case filed ffunder the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act in February.

A BJP team headed by State unit president Ernest Mawrie met the Governor on Monday seeking the removal of the deputy commissioner and the superintendent of police of West Garo Hills district in order to facilitate a free and fair investigation into the case against Mr. Marak.

“The Governor has assured us that an independent inquiry into the case would be commissioned,” Mr. Mawrie said on Tuesday, asserting that the police action against Mr. Marak was a “clear case of political vendetta”.

He also said the local authorities were harassing BJP workers in the Garo Hills after the action against Mr. Marak.

“This vendetta is a first of its kind in Meghalaya. We fear this will set the trend of vindictive politics in our State,” Mr. Mawrie said, questioning the police for taking along the representatives of a particular media organisation during the raid on Mr. Marak’s farmhouse.

He also said the State unit was awaiting the response from the party’s central leadership on whether or not to pull out of the National People’s Party-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government after the police action against Mr Marak.

With two MLAs in the 60-member Assembly, the BJP is a minor ally of the NPP in the Meghalaya government.

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Printable version | Aug 2, 2022 4:15:12 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/meghalaya-governor-assures-independent-probe-into-arrested-bjp-leaders-case/article65715164.ece