Brothel Case: Arrested in UP, BJP Leader Brought to Meghalaya

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SHILLONG – BJP’s Meghalaya state vice-president Bernard N. Marak, who was arrested in Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday for allegedly running a ‘brothel’ in the West Garo Hills district, was brought to the hill state on Thursday and produced in a court in Tura.

Meanwhile, Meghalaya Police on Thursday recovered a huge cache of explosives hidden in the farmhouse of Marak, who is also an elected leader of Garo Hills Autonomous District Council.

Officials said that a team comprising District Child Protection Unit and Meghalaya Police, who had gone to Rimpu Bagan, the farmhouse of Marak, to collect the clothes and books of the children who were rescued from the premises following Saturday’s raid, recovered the explosives from a locked room. The recovered material included 35 gelatine sticks, 100 detonators, four cross bows and 15 arrows.

Earlier, a team of the Meghalaya police, which went to Uttar Pradesh after Marak was arrested in Hapur district of the state on Tuesday, took custody of the BJP leader on Wednesday.

Before being produced in the Tura court, a medical check-up of Marak was done, who has been absconding following Saturday’s police raid at the farmhouse. He has been booked under different sections of POCSO and the Immoral Trafficking Act. The Uttar Pradesh police arrested Marak soon after the Meghalaya police issued a look out notice after five children were rescued and 73 people were arrested on Saturday from his farmhouse.

A Meghalaya court had also issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against Marak, who through several statements and video messages denied the charge and accused Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma of political vendetta.

The District Magistrate of West Garo Hills district on Wednesday ordered a magisterial probe to find out details about the police raid on Saturday in the farmhouse reportedly owned by Marak, alias Rimpu, a militant-turned-politician. District Magistrate Swapnil Tembe asked Executive Magistrate and Extra Assistant Commissioner, Rezia Ch Marak to conduct the inquiry into the police raid and submit the report within 15 days.

West Garo Hills district police chief Vivekanand Singh had said that police rescued five minors — four boys and one girl — who were found locked inside dingy unhygienic rooms at Rimpu Bagan, comprising of 30 rooms. The police also arrested 68 boys and girls and several farmhouse staff. They also seized 36 vehicles, 47 mobile phones, liquor, 500 unused condoms and other material.

A day after the police raid on Marak’s farmhouse, the Meghalaya BJP in a statement on Sunday defended the party leader saying he has been ‘unjustly framed and maligned’. With two MLAs, the BJP is a part of the ruling Meghalaya Democratic Alliance, led by Sangma’s National People’s Party. -IANS

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