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Unprofessionally manned Hospitality Industry in Meghalaya aiding sex rackets

Written by Meghalaya Times. Posted in Editorial

Thomas Lim
The infamous Marvelene Inn trafficking case has opened up the proverbial can of worms, exposing a sex racket case involving a minor victim and many high profile personalities of the State including a sitting legislator which has prompted Shillong Police to appeal as many as 80 hotels operating in and around the jurisdiction of the Sadar Police Station to get abreast on how they could help in curbing the crime of sex trade. At the same time, police have warned owners against wilfully allowing such activities in their establishments.
The government in the past has failed to keep a check on the mushrooming of the hotels and guest houses, even in the residential areas, including the guest house in question - Marvelene Inn. Also this is not the only establishment owned by the family of the politicians, there are many more in the state which are either directly or indirectly owned by the affluent and politicians in the state which are mostly kept unchecked by the district administration.


The earlier instructions issued by the Police department have failed to keep a check on the establishments which wilfully rent out the room on an hourly basis to couples without even questioning customers, all that matters is the occupancy should be filled up.
In most cases such customers do not use the room only for flesh trade, other anti-social activities like arms deals, drug trafficking, gambling are also rife. Although many attributed it to the closure of wine stores at present, not accepting that this too is an age old illegal business, also due to lack of industries, hence many tourists visit the state mainly for easily accessibility to prostitution in the state.
Recently, Meghalaya Police had advised the public that if any member of a family goes missing, the family should report to the police immediately. Many times people spend 2-3 days conducting search themselves due to which precious time is lost. While search by members of family, friends and relatives is important, at the same time police should be informed without loss of precious time. Families should keep track of movements of children and young boys and girls in groups or individually for educational purposes or employment outside the State. If there is anything suspicious, it should be reported to police for verification and enquiry.
But does it help since in this competitive world, most of the professionals greatly depend on educational institutions to reform their own children, as they simply do not have time to do so themselves? Whereas, teaching is more a stepping stone for many till they get government jobs, most of the young teachers both in school and college are new to the profession and do not hesitate to share cigarettes and drinks with students. Exchange of kwai and other tobacco substances is common and many even go for long drives with students which has encouraged the young students to openly enjoy the bad habits with the support of teachers.
The young teachers, being new can easily adapt to the life style of the students as their age difference is not much, hence be it in the college campus or outside, they meet like friends and share drinks and smoke and have made a mockery of the pious student – teacher relationship by keeping the term discipline at arm’s length.
Secondly, the easy availability of all kinds of banned substances in the state capital, where students from other states studying here have tagged Shillong as ‘Las Vegas of North East’ for the free flow of wine and alcohol, easily availability of drugs and sex workers, smoking all types of intoxicating substances freely without any interference from any quarter.
As the punishment of the addicts is soft in the midst of huge demand for these drugs, it is impossible to curb the menace of drug trafficking.
As mentioned, hotels and lodges are mushrooming in every nook and corner of the city, even in the heart of the residential areas which is not at all approachable by the tourists. Shillong is known to be the city with alert vigilance of Traditional Institutions, where every entry and exit from the locality needs to be reported to the local durbar. Yet, one fails to understand how there is no restriction on the hotels and lodges in various localities. At the same time the permission is easily acquired from the authorities. Some of them are being booked by the students as hostel, exposing them to all the anti social activities.
There is no denial that the state capital of Meghalaya – Shillong - is indeed the city of crime and sex, where every illegal transaction from arms and ammunition, fake currency to drugs, flesh trade to smuggling, one needs to name it, is being carried out in the open under the very nose of the district authorities. Only a few get trapped in the police net, while most carry on with business unhindered.
Shillong is not only the hub of Educational Institutions but also the headquarters for all forms of anti social activities, where illicit liquor is openly available in most localities, Marijuana vendors are present everywhere and in some selected spots within the city and suburbs even drugs are easily available; strangely all are thriving in their business.
How can one not suspect a nexus between the authorities and the anti social elements as it can be seen that even though both the Central and State Intelligences agencies are on the chase day in and out, people with vested interests in the society can easily spread their tentacles of such organized crimes in the state capital.
Most of the headquarters of religious institutions of all faiths, best of educational institutions, government officials, Defense and Home Affairs officials are crowded in Shillong, yet different criminal gangs have turned the city into their holiday destination, for purchase of arms and cracking deals, while having easy access to alcohol and sex workers at their choice of the hotels and lodges at the most discreet locations.
Manipur came out from the shadow of such anti social activities due to the Mother’s Union who took action on a war footing to restore the pride of their state. Meghalaya has the maximum registered NGOs, Pressure Groups and Civic Societies, yet its capital is now considered the city of crime and sex.
The arrest of two students from different college in the city only established the claims that the state capital needs an iron fist to deal in both the educational institutions and the state police should bust the nexus through these two young students who were being arrested in the city for sending ganja, be it trafficking by themselves or just a courier boys as this can lead authorities to the kingpin. All such have also exposed the fact that innocent girls and women being forcefully pushed into the trade.
All such activities are thriving mainly due to unchecked registration of guests in hotels and guest houses, also renting out rooms by private individuals to unchecked characters in the city has further exposed the Hills State to the hands of such miscreants through the unprofessionally managed hospitality and service industry in Meghalaya.


 

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