Thomas Sangma
Thomas Sangma

Shillong: Chairperson of the Assembly Committee for Women Empowerment, Congress MLA Ampareen Lyngdoh, on Wednesday wrote to the Speaker demanding the removal of Meghalaya NPP MLA Thomas Sangma, accused of rape, from the House Committees.

In her letter to the Speaker Metbah Lyngdoh, the MLA said, “… a serious accusation of this nature against a member of this honorable Assembly shocks the conscience of our society and puts a huge expectation on us as representatives of the people to ensure the principles of accountability are held in the utmost regard.”

RELATED | Meghalaya: NPP MLA Thomas Sangma accused of rape, FIR filed

Lyngdoh has urged the Speaker to follow the principles of fairness and accountability in the removal of the concerned member as Chairman of Assembly Committee on Estimates [constituted under Rule 224 (1)] and as Member of the Committee on Public Accounts [constituted under Rule 242 (1) until the police investigation and trial (if any) are complete.

Lyngdoh added, “Our criminal justice system has historically been against women, and it is for the sole reason that any rape victim must be entitled to a benefit of doubt when she raises an allegation of sexual assault.”

Giving an example of the case of Julius Dorphang, who was removed from Committees in 2017 by the honorable Speaker AT Mondal after an FIR for sexual assault was registered, Lyngdoh urged the Speaker to remove the concerned member.

Thomas Sangma, an MLA from the National People’s Party (NPP) was accused of rape and an FIR was filed by the victim in Shillong on Tuesday. The victim, in her FIR statement, mentioned that Sangma raped her on different occasions. 

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