Meghalaya: Bernard N Marak tests positive for Covid in jail
Meghalaya BJP Vice-President Bernard Marak

Shillong: A court in Meghalaya’s West Garo Hills district on Thursday remanded BJP leader Bernard N Marak to six days’ police custody in a case related to explosive materials found in his farmhouse from where he was accused of running a sex racket.

Marak, a former militant leader, was arrested in Uttar Pradesh on July 29 on the charge of operating the sex racket. The court of chief judicial magistrate in Tura had on Wednesday sent him to 14-day judicial custody.

However, he was arrested again from the district jail on Wednesday night in the case under Explosive Substances Act. When produced before the court, it sent him to police remand again.

A total of 35 gelatine sticks and 100 detonators, four crossbows and 15 arrows were seized from the farmhouse, the police have said.

Earlier on July 22, six minors were rescued from the farmhouse owned by the BJP leader. The police arrested 73 people from there, seized their cars and recovered alcoholic beverages and condoms.

The BJP is a part of the state’s ruling Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA), led by Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma of the National People’s Party (NPP).

Marak, also an elected member of the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council, has claimed he was innocent and alleged he is the target of political vendetta by the chief minister and fears for his life. The state BJP also backed his claim.

There were speculations that in the assembly elections due next year, the saffron party would field him against Sangma.

The Meghalaya chief minister rejected the allegations.

Marak was the chairman of the now-disbanded armed rebel group ANVC(B), a breakaway faction of the Achik National Volunteer Council, before he joined the BJP and won the tribal council elections from Tura.

Also read | Meghalaya to host 2nd North East Olympic Games 2022

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