The Telegraph
Tuesday , May 13 , 2014
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Probes into women abuse

Shillong, May 12: The Meghalaya government and the Meghalaya State Commission for Women today ordered two separate inquiries into the alleged captivity and torture of 12 women who were branded “call girls” by activists in Tura, West Garo Hills.

On Friday, the five “activists” were arrested and sent to judicial custody after being accused of confining and torturing the 12 women at the rented accommodation of Jaynie Ningring N. Sangma at Danakgre near Tura.

Disturbing pictures of the scarred women, with their faces hidden, were also circulated via various social networking channels.

Going by the pictures, the extent of the injuries perpetrated on the women was critical.

Meghalaya social welfare minister Deborah C. Marak, who chaired a meeting at the secretariat today, informed that a high-level inquiry committee, to be headed by commissioner and secretary M.H.K. Marak, has been constituted.

Marak, who wanted an impartial probe into the entire episode, also said the district social welfare officer/joint district social welfare officer, Tura, would assist the committee.

The committee will have to inquire into allegations made in local newspapers and the nature and extent of injuries to the victims and suggest suitable remedial measures.

The committee has been given 30 days to submit its report.

Besides this, Meghalaya State Commission for Women chairperson Theilin Phanbuh said vice-chairperson Gamchi Marak and another member, Angela R. Ingty, would conduct a holistic investigation into the incident.

Although no time-frame has been fixed for this team, Phanbuh said the team would complete the probe as early as possible.

West Garo Hills deputy commissioner Pravin Bakshi had on Saturday constituted a magisterial inquiry, headed by Dadenggre sub-divisional officer Sibhi C. Sadhu.

Two extra assistant commissioners, Tengchi Momin and Rojalinda D. Shira, will assist him. Sadhu has been asked to submit his report within 30 days.

It is learnt that the state government has also sought a report from Bakshi on the episode.

Controversy has arisen ever since the episode came to light on Friday.

The “activists” allegedly held the women, aged between 18 and 24 years, captive for around eight days. They were rescued by local residents on Thursday evening and handed over to police.

The five “activists” — Jaynie Ningring N. Sangma, Babiana M. Sangma, Merryln D. Shira, Konica S. Sangma, and Lonavi R. Sangma — were subsequently arrested on Thursday and were sent to 14-days’ judicial custody.