Remove POCSO charge-sheeted Mr. J Dorphang from all MLA committes
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A T Mondal,
Meghalaya Legislative Assembly
Subject: Demand for revoking the membership of POCSO charge sheeted Mr. Julius Dorphang, MLA from all Meghalaya Legislative Assembly Committees
We the citizens and civil society organizations of Meghalaya view with grave concern your nomination for the appointment / extension of Mr. Julius Dorphang, MLA into two important house committees namely The Privileges committee and Committee on Subordinate Legislation. Such an appointment of someone who is accused of raping a minor at a time when the charge sheet has been filed and the trial has just begun indicates an arrogance of power which is an intimidation to the victim who is a child, the witnesses and even the investigating officials. Mr. J Dorphang has been booked under the POCSO act which specifies that an accused is guilty till proven innocent and that the burden of proof lies on the accused. POCSO also has specific provisions according more severe punishment to persons in public positions who sexually assault children. In light of these provisions, nomination of Mr. Julius Dorphang is an affront to the spirit and letter of the act which seeks first and foremost to uphold the protection and safety of children.
Such insensitive and ill conceived decisions by public representatives who are sworn to uphold constitutional guarantees of safety and security for all citizens particularly women and children leads to a loss of faith in the system prompting citizens to take law into their own hands and promotes a culture of vigilantism.
Nomination of a child rape accused to a house committee sends out the message that offenders and perpetrators will be accommodated and such heinous crimes normalized. This action not only demoralizes women and children who have been victims of sexual crimes such as rape, trafficking, murder etc but is an affront to all women and children in the state as a whole.
We therefore strongly demand the immediate revocation of the name of Mr. Julius Dorphang from these committees and urge you to stand with citizens seeking justice in order to set the right precedence for the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.
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