SHILLONG, July 14: The women activists who had demanded the removal of jailed Mawhati MLA, Julius Dorphang from two high level Assembly committees were vindicated on Friday when Speaker, Abu Taher Mondal acceded to their demands.
In a fresh notification issued on July 13, the Speaker decided to modify the earlier letter dated July 7 which named Dorphang as a member of Committee on Privileges and Committee on Subordinate Legislation.
“It (letter) is hereby modified. In pursuance of Rule 194 (1) of the Rules of Procedures and Conduct of Business, the Speaker is pleased to constitute the following committees of the Assembly for remaining term of the Committees or till the dissolution of the present Assembly,” – the notification stated.
“The MLA (Julius) was also removed as the chairman of the SC/ST committee,” Mondal informed on Friday
He however said that in fact the jailed legislator was earlier a member of the two committees (Privileges and Subordinate Legislation).
“However, we earlier thought that let the committees continue with the same members since most of them are busy (with election preparation),” he said while adding “We have accordingly rectified that (by removing Julius’ name).”
The decision came after stiff opposition was registered from members of women’s organizations including the Meghalaya State Commission for Women against the appointment of Dorphang in such committees.
Earlier, the State Commission for Protection of Child’s Rights (SCPCR) chairperson Meena Kharkongor, who is the main complainant in the rape case in which Dorphang is accused, had also expressed her strong opposition on the matter.
Two FIRs was registered against the Mawhati independent MLA which were based on the statements made by the 14 year old alleged victim who identified his photograph as one among the accused - in Laitumkhrah police station and Ri Bhoi District.