Millennium Post

Assault of 12 girls; MSWC says case of ‘moral policing’ and ‘vigilantism’

The assault case against 12 girls who were allegedly branded as ‘sex workers’ by women activists in Tura, West Garo Hills District was found to be a case of ‘moral policing’ and ‘vigilantism’ disregarding the law, the report of the inquiry committee constituted by the Meghalaya State Women Commission (MSWC) on Friday revealed.

‘It is very much a stark case of moral policing and vigilantism disregarding the law and duping the administration, police and public besides violating against human rights,’ MSWC chairperson Theilin Phanbuh said while quoting the findings of the report which was submitted to the state government recently for necessary action.

However, the commission in its enquiry cannot ascertain that the girls were into sex trade.
Earlier, in connection to the case, five women activists were arrested for allegedly kidnapping, torture and confining 12 girls for over a week on the pretext of counselling them.
The women activists were from three NGOs — Civil Society Women’s Organization (CSWO), Achik Mother’s  Association (AMA) and Garo Hills Sentinel for Human Rights (GHSHR).
As per the findings of the report, the 12 girls reportedly picked up from the vehicles on the road at Chasingre, Orchid Lodge at Asanang and from their respective homes at different intervals and dates and kept at a rented house at Daldagre locality of Tura from 1 May to 8 May. The inquiry committee headed by the commission’s vice chairperson Kamchi Marak had examined at least 44 witnesses including the 12 girls. The inquiry committee further stated that the administration viewed the NGOs at face value and took the matter lightly without verifying their antecedents.

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