Shillong: Former Chairman of the outlawed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) Julias Kitbok Dorphang on Friday convicted by a special Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) court in Meghalaya’s Ri-Bhoi district in connection with a rape case of a minor.
“He has been convicted and sentencing will happen on Monday, and after receiving a copy of the order, we will file an appeal,” Dorphang’s legal counsel K.C. Gautam said.
Dorphang was later taken into judicial custody upon conviction.
“We were quite hopeful that the order would not be of conviction, but nonetheless the court has convicted, but we have the option to file an appeal,” Gautam voiced optimism.
Dorphang was the founder and the Chairman of the HNLC militant outfit before he surrendered before the police in 2007. He later contested and won from Mawahati assembly election in Ri-Bhoi district in 2013.
However, he was accused of raping a 14-year-old in 2017 when he was till an MLA. Following the allegation of rape, Dorphang absconded and was nabbed from Assam’s Guwahati ISBT.
The legislator was arrested and booked under POCSO Act and Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act.
He was lodged at the Nongpoh district jail, but was granted bail on medical grounds from the Meghalaya High Court in 2020 by a single bench before his conviction today.