SHILLONG: Demands for immediate resignation of home minister HDR Lyngdoh, shutting down of all the guest houses named by the 14 year old Ichamati minor, were amongst the immediate demands listed out by the protestors in the memorandum which was submitted to the Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma here on Wednesday.
The memorandum was resolved during the rally which took place early today from Madan Iewrynghep and culminated at Additional Secretariat here. The organisers of the rally, CSWO and TUR amongst other NGOs’ leaders later submitted a memorandum to the CM besides seeking immediate actions on a few of the demands.
According to the memorandum, the people of the state are horrified at the recent incident of trafficking and sexual assault on minors involving elected representative and other influential people. “Sexual violence and assault on minors and women in Meghalaya is reaching an alarming proportion,” it stated.
According to the National Crime Bureau’s statistics, amongst the northeastern states, Meghalaya has the highest rate of crime against women and children. “But the state’s response to this has been lackadaisical at best.
Here is a list of immediate demands:
## Immediate resignation of home minister HDR Lyngdoh to ensure an independent enquiry into this case as the guest house owned by his immediate family was the place where the minor was trafficked and sexually assaulted twice.
##POCSO Act 2012 along with Criminal Law Amendment Act 2013 should be immediately invoked to ensure that investigations are carried out in a time bound manner as prescribed by law and that anyone interfering with the course of investigations and justice should be made liable be it police or others.
## All guest houses and hotels, be it private or government, named by the victim where she was taken to should be immediately shut down pending inquiry and licenses revoked and owners booked and blacklisted when implicated. NOCs issued by any authority should be revoked.
## Government should immediately set up fast tracks/special courts in all districts of the state to ensure speedy and time-bound justice to the victims of violence and trafficking.
## Government should immediately notify internal complaints committee/local complaints committee in all offices and districts under the Sexual Harassment Act.
Amongst these demands, there are other time taken steps proposed by the organisations for the government to follow suit.
## Government should actively create awareness at all levels including schools and colleges and traditional institutions regarding laws on sexual violence and rights of the victims.
## Mandatory guidelines and laws regarding safety and security protocol to be followed by all hotels, guest houses/ Bed and Breakfast and home stays should be immediately notified.
## Tourism and skill development policies of the state that encourages and drives persons towards engaging in activities aimed at sexual exploitation and abuse should be reviewed.
## A 24X7 hotline number should be immediately set up with the state commission for protection of child rights where complaints on trafficking and sexual exploitation of minors can be lodged.