‘Victims’ of Rimpu Bagan case say police asked them not to vote for Bernard

Shillong, Jan 25: Atleast ten individuals,who were affected in the raid at Rimpu Bagan in West Garo Hills (in picture) in July last year, have alleged human rights violations, discrimination and intimidation by the police.

Addressing a press conference here on Wednesday, they even revealed that an investigating officer (IO) had asked  them not to vote for the BJP leader and Tura MDC Bernard N Marak, who is the owner of Rimpu Bagan.


They also wanted to know why the  Meghalaya Human Rights Commission (MHRC) postponed  the hearing fixed for January 18 to March.

35 persons, who were arrested in the Rimpu Bagan raid on July 22, last year and later released on bail, have filed complaints before the MHRC.

Police had arrested Bernard stating that he was running a brothel at Rimpu Bagan.

The ten persons, who did not want to be named, said that they are victims of politics and are keen to get  justice.

They said though complaints were lodged  before the MHRC in August, last year not a single hearing was conducted till date.

“The first hearing was supposed to be held on January 18 and 19 but the SP and other police personnel came on January 17 and informed us that the hearing has been postponed till  March due to elections. We don’t understand what is the connection between elections and the human rights commission? If anything happens to us, who will take the responsibility? We are scared because we are being targeted after filing complaint,” said one of the female victims.

To a question, she said they will be writing to the MHRC on the matter and also to seek removal of the SP.

She said three of the 35 persons  have also filed a complaint to the NHRC but it had asked the SP to probe into the matter. “We were directed to give  statement to the SP.  As the SP is the one who arrested us, how can he take tour statement? It should be any other officer,” she said.

The victim wondered as to why the investigating officer had asked all those who were arrested not to vote for Bernard.

“They were supposed to stick to the raid and the investigation but they instead, especially the IO, was telling all of us not to give vote to Bernard N Marak,” she said.

The victims also alleged harassment by the police and the jail authorities as they were treated badly by them.

They are also annoyed over the police releasing thier photos and videos.

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