Meghalaya: Ex-MLA, Former Militant Leader Sentenced to 25 Years Jail on Rape Charge

Shillong: A prominent rebel leader and founder-chairman of insurgent group Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC), Julius Dorphang, has been sentenced to 25 years in jail by a special court in Meghalaya for raping a girl in 2017. A court in the Ri-Bhoi district of the northeastern state pronounced the verdict. 

Dorphang, now 56, had founded HNLC and later joined politics and was a state legislator as an Independent.

Special Judge (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences–POCSO) Febroneous Silkam Sangma also imposed a fine of Rs 15 lakh on Dorphang, who was the founder-chairman of an insurgent group Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC), reports said. The Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) was floated in 1992 and was banned on November 16, 2000. The ban was lifted later and again reimposed in 2019.

Dorphang had surrendered in 2007 as HNLC chairman, and in 2013, won the election from the Mawhati assembly seat. Sources said, after committing the crime, Dorphang absconded, and a lookout notice was put out. He was arrested with the help of Assam Police from Guwahati. 

The court also sentenced three handlers of the girl to life imprisonment, besides imposing fines of Rs 1 lakh each. Dorphang’s lawyer has said the verdict would be challenged in the Meghalaya High Court soon. He has already been shifted to Nongpoh District Jail following his conviction.

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