In a huge embarrassment for the BJP, one of its senior office-bearers in Meghalaya has been found to be involved in allegedly running a brothel in the north-eastern state. This was revealed after the police conducted a raid on a resort owned by BJP’s Meghalaya vice-president Bernard N Marak in Tura. The police rescued six children and arrested as many as 73 people.
West Garo Hills SP Vivekanand Singh Rathore, according to news agency PTI, said that Rimpu Bagan, a farmhouse owned by militant-turned-politician Marak, was raided on the basis of a tip-off.
Rathore said that the police had rescued six minors including four boys and two girls. These children were allegedly kept locked inside dingy ‘cabin-like unhygienic rooms at Rimpu Bagan, run by Bernard N Marak and his accomplices as a brothel, for the purpose of prostitution.’
All rescued children have been handed over to the District Child Protection Officer for safe custody and further actions.
A news flash by ANI said that the police had also seized 36 vehicles, 414 liquor bottles, 49 mobile phones, sharp weapons and other items during the raid conducted at Rimpu Bagan area in the district.
One victim told the court that she and her friend were taken to Rimpu Bagan, where a room was hired and they were sexually assaulted multiple times.
The police found many people without their clothes during the raid. All of them were arrested. A case has been filed against the accused under IPC and the Immoral Trafficking (Prevention) Act, 1956. The police have asked Marak to surrender at the Shillong Sadar police station and cooperate with the investigation.
Marak, for his part, has attacked the state chief minister for hatching a conspiracy. In a statement, the sex-racket accused said that Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma was getting desperate since ‘he knows he is losing his South Tura seat to the BJP.’