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The victim (right) and her husband addressing the media in Itanagar on Thursday
The victim (right) and her husband addressing the media in Itanagar on Thursday|EastMojo image
ARUNACHAL PRADESH

‘Rape victim’ breaks silence on meeting with Arunachal MLA Pordung

Bameng legislator Goruk Pordung said he is an MLA, he has power; so if I disclose incident & my husband comes to kill him, his PSOs will kill my husband first, alleges woman in media briefing

Irani Sonowal Lepcha

Irani Sonowal Lepcha

Bameng MLA Goruk Pordung has been accused of rape at a hotel in Itanagar on October 12
Bameng MLA Goruk Pordung has been accused of rape at a hotel in Itanagar on October 12
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Itanagar: A few days after an FIR was registered against ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Goruk Pordung over alleged rape, the woman broke her silence on Thursday.

“I could not deny meeting the MLA on October 12, as he called me over the telephone to discuss matters in regards to my office,” said the victim at a press conference in Arunachal Press Club in Itanagar.

“We had a meeting previously in Hotel Ashoka on October 8 and the meeting lasted for three hours approximately,” said the victim when enquired about previous meetings.

“He (Pordung) was already our family friend. Also, he is the representative of the constituency where I work, so I did not hesitate. Accordingly, I went to the hotel with a thought that there would be some of his staff like his personal security officer or assistant but he was alone inside the room. He called me in and offered a glass of wine. I refused to drink the same after which he locked the door and the incident took place,” the victim said.

She further added that Pordung threatened her with dire consequences if she disclosed the incident.

“He said he is an MLA and he has power, so if I disclose the incident and my husband comes to kill him, his PSOs will kill my husband first,” she said while adding that all the time her phone was with Pordung and that was how the text messages were sent.

The woman also acknowledged her meeting the MLA at Hotel Ashoka before October 12 and said that all they talked about then was regarding the Primary Health Centre.

Now, the family members of the woman has demanded that the interim bail granted to the accused be cancelled and the MLA be arrested at the earliest.

The police had on October 14 registered a case against Bameng legislator Goruk Pordung for allegedly raping the woman. As per the complaint from the victim, the MLA had asked her to meet him in a hotel where he wanted to discuss some matters related to the Bameng Primary Health Centre.

The rape allegedly took place following that.

The rape victim with her husband (middle) and brother (left) addressing the media in Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh on Thursday
The rape victim with her husband (middle) and brother (left) addressing the media in Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh on Thursday
EastMojo image

Pordung, who on Wednesday, appeared before the district sessions court in Itanagar has been granted interim bail until October 21. He would reportedly go through a medical check up on Friday.

Talking to the press, the victim’s brother said: “Though they have faith in the law and they hope that justice will be delivered, they would, however, not hesitate to launch a democratic movement if the same does not happen.”

“We will try to get justice by all means possible,” the brother said.

He also raised apprehensions on the role that the police allegedly played in registering the FIR. “We went to the police station on October 13 to register an FIR but the officer in-charge of the women’s police station said that they would not be able to do the same following orders from the high command. Immediately after the complaint, the police officials had a meeting and it was on October 14 that the complaint was finally registered,” the victim’s brother said.

Also questioning the stand of Capital SP, Tumme Amo, he said: “The SP, who is normally known for taking instant action against defaulters, did not give a great deal of importance to the case and instead went on to tell the media that a counter complaint was received from the MLA and that was the reason that the FIR was not registered on October 13.”

Meanwhile, the husband of the victim, who was also present in the press meet on Thursday, said, “We have done our research and there was no counter complaint filed by MLA Pordung. The police only a received clarification which was later made available to the press and it surprisingly pointed fingers on my wife’s creditability.”

Also taking a dig at SP Amo, the victim’s husband alleged that there were possibilities that he was supporting the sitting MLA. “The police did not allow the case to be registered on October 13 and the SP said he was following orders from the high command. Which high command was he talking about? The SP should be suspended, as a person helping a rapist is a rapist himself,” the victim’s husband said, adding that he would also file a case against Amo.

He further said that the SP asked his wife (the victim) to carry out the medical tests twice on October 13. “The first test was carried out around 3.30 pm at Tomo Riba Institute of Health and Medical Sciences, Naharlagun and when we submitted the report to the police, the SP said it was not accurate and he asked us to do the tests again. When we went back to the hospital to do the same, the doctor there said it was unnecessary,” victim’s husband said.

SP Amo, however, has denied all allegations and said that he followed all procedures that were necessary. Acknowledging that there was delay in filing the case, he said: “I am not the only cop who can take all the decisions. The case was sensitive so I had to consult my seniors.”

In regards to the medical tests, he said that the first one was not accurate so he had asked them to do it again and that too, on the consent of the victim and her husband.

Commenting on the case he said, “Law will take its own course of action.”

Further countering the MLA on his clarification, the victim’s husband said that Produng, whom he supported full-heartedly to become an MLA both financially and physically, has not only broken his confidence after the October 12 incident but has also put the BJP to shame.

The victim’s husband, who himself is a BJP worker, said that “instead of accepting his fault, the legislator is terming the rape allegation as 'politically motivated' when it was he, who made the latter an MLA”.

“The people of Bameng Assembly constituency had projected me to represent them, but I sacrificed the same and made Pordung an MLA. It was I, who introduced him to the chief minister and party leaders in February this year and after which he was declared as BJP’s candidate for the constituency later in that month. He used to live in a rented house and now he has made himself a new bungalow within 7-8 months of winning the elections,” he said.

He also claimed that Pordung owes him around Rs 10.98 crore and it was because of that he had sent his wife to the MLA’s home to enquire about it.

Also countering the clarification of the MLA in which he has claimed that the victim had accepted cash from him, the husband said: “When my wife herself earns around Rs 40,000 as her salary and our family is financially stable, why would she accept Rs 15,000 or 20,000 for sleeping with him as claimed by the MLA?”

He further said the entry register of the hotel also clearly shows that it was Pordung who had booked the room in his name on October 12 at 10 pm.

“Pordung in his clarification said they entered the hotel at 10.15 pm but the entry register says 10 pm and the hotel staff only has his documents,” victim’s husband said.

The victim, on her part, said that she could not deny meeting the MLA on October 12, as he had called her to discuss matters in regards to her office.

Meanwhile, the Arunachal Pradesh State Commission for Women (APSCW) has constituted an ad hoc inquiry committee to find out the facts behind the case.

The APSCW has also sought status of the alleged rape case from the police station concerned and urged the police carry out a fair and proper investigation on the case. The commission has requested all the sections of the society to cooperate with the police so that the case is properly investigated.

Meanwhile, when contacted, legislator Pordung said that the case is under investigation and “I won’t comment anything as of now”. “However, the lady was with me for five hours in Hotel Ashoka on October 8 and the CCTV footage has been handed over to the police. To be honest, we never discussed any official matters,” Pordung said.

Pordung in his clarification had also said that the woman after leaving the hotel, had texted him saying that a group of youths were roaming outside the hotel and he shouldn’t venture out as she apprehended that some untoward incident would happen.