Meghalaya MLA faces rape charge, Congress demands his removal from House panels

Express News Service
GUWAHATI: A Meghalaya woman’s filing of an FIR with the police alleging that she was sexually abused by National People’s Party (NPP) legislator Thomas Sangma made Opposition Congress to demand his removal from some Assembly panels.

The NPP is a key constituent of the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government. The accused legislator is the chairman of the Assembly Committee on Estimates and a member of the Committee on Public Accounts. He is also the chief advisor to Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma.

In a letter to Speaker Metbah Lyngdoh, senior Congress leader Ampareen Lyngdoh said given the seriousness of the accusation against the MLA, he should be removed from the House committees.

“When a serious accusation of this nature arises against a member of this Assembly, it shocks the conscience of society and puts a huge expectation on the representatives of the people to ensure that principles of accountability are held in utmost regard,” Lyngdoh wrote.

She said as the chairperson of the Assembly Committee for the Empowerment of Women, she was committed to ensuring that justice was not denied, especially to women.

Lyngdoh highlighted the case of former MLA Julius Dorphang who was removed from some House committees in 2017 after an FIR was lodged against him with a similar charge.