Shillong raid
Shillong city. File photo Credit: EastMojo image

Shillong: While prostitution is a crime in Meghalaya, Khyndailad has become topic of discussion as a pickup point for sex workers in Shillong city.

Responding to a question by North Shillong MLA Adelbert Nongrum in the Meghalaya Assembly on Wednesday, Minister in-charge of Home (Police) Lahkmen Rymbui denied claims that Khyndailad was a pick up point for sex workers, but said it was instead a pickup point for passengers.

Nongrum asked Rymbui to spare time after 10 pm to check concerns brought before the House. Rymbui, in turn, told the MLA to call the police immediately if he notices such an act again.

“The concern of the member is noted. The state government has already formed the anti-human trafficking unit in all districts. We are concerned if any such crime is taking place,” Rymbui told the House.

Rymbui went on to state that he never noticed any such thing when he walked past Khyndailad during evening hours, a statement that was met with hushed laughter through the House.

Irked by the joke his concerns had become, Nongrum was compelled to tell Rymbui to take the matter seriously.

“I am afraid that if this is not controlled, it will become a red light area and may also be known to others that Meghalaya’s capital city is dealing with prostitution,” said Nongrum.

Nongrum then asked the floor if the government cared to investigate this matter, as it concerns precious live of the youth.

“I want to know if the government plans to rehabilitate these sex workers if they give up or discontinue with their practices,” Nongrum asked.

Rymbui responded by saying that since there is no record with the department, he is not aware of any rehabilitation plans for the sex workers. He added that the government will need cooperation of the people, and that such acts are a crime.

Legislator Ampareen Lyngdoh also made a submission on the subject. She demanded that the police department investigate the matter and submit a reply by next week.

“We understand that you can laugh when it concerns weaknesses and compulsions of women, but it would be appropriate to take stock of the situation. Give us assurance that some kind of work will be done and we can see if there is truth in the honourable member’s submission,” Lyngdoh said.

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