Notwithstanding the growing clamour for the removal of home minister HDR Lyngdoh, Meghalaya chief minister Mukul Sangma refused to sack him saying the law did not require that.
Lyngdoh came into the limelight after a 14-year-old girl, who was trafficked, was raped repeatedly in a guest house owned by his son. Sixteen people, including Independent MLA Julius K Dorphang, have been arrested till date for their involvement in the case.
“As of now, no. The law doesn’t demand so,” Sangma told newspersons in Shillong on Saturday on being asked whether he would remove Lyngdoh from the cabinet.
Sangma’s statement comes two days after Meghalaya governor V Shanmuganathan’s resignation on Thursday following allegations of sexual misconduct and demands from Raj Bhawan employees for his ouster.
“What wrong have I done? Investigation is on and agencies are carrying out their duties without interference,” Lyngdoh told reporters on Saturday.
Demand for Lyngdoh’s resignation arose last month following the arrest of an employee of the guest house, which is owned by his son Nathaniel O Rymmai, on charges for ‘pimping’ the minor victim.
Four people, including MLA Dorphang, had raped the girl on separate occasions at Rymmai’s Marvelene Inn. The victim was also taken to other guest houses and a government-owned resort and sexually exploited before she was rescued last month.
The Congress government in Meghalaya has come under flak from NGOs and opposition parties for failing to remove Lyngdoh.
Since the home minister is in charge of the police department, there are fears that he can influence the probe.