From initiating Operation Kyllang to becoming a Rapist: The Irony of Julius Dorphang!


It is said that every militant or a terrorist is somebody's freedom fighter who fights for a cause which, at some point of time may be for the well being of a particular section of society. The same was the case with rebel turned politician, Julius Dorphang.

There was a time when Julius Dorphang headed the Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) as its chairman. HNLC claimed to be a representative of the Khasi-Jaintia tribal people with an aim to free Meghalaya from the alleged domination of Garos and non-tribal outsiders (often referred to as the "Dkhars"). HNLC at one point of time claimed that it tried to help the Khasi people and to make the society better. It launched 'Operation Kyllang' (hurricane), the brainchild of Julius himself, to publicly punish rapists by torturing them, and claimed to have reduced the crime in the Khasi Hills.

Operation Kyllang, the 'Khasi' word for 'Hurricane' took the society by storm with its inception. The tremor that it manifested within the rapists due to its deadly form of punishment is still recalled with fear by many.

It was not uncommon to see alleged criminals seen parading in Mothpran or Laitumkhrah with locks in the ear as a punishment for raping,extorting and drug trafficking.

When the HNLC first started to launch its extreme social measures against anti-social elements like making a rapist wear a heavy padlock (popular phrase amongst the Khasis — Pyndeng Tala Mylliem), the cases of rape in the state then went down, and the same initiative was applauded and hailed by many.

But the greatest irony here is the fact that Julius, who once took the responsibility of making society a better and safe place for women is now himself a convict of rape and molestation of a minor.

The Meghalaya Trafficking case that rocked the state and brought many high profile names within its periphery is living proof of how safe and sound the matrilineal society of Meghalaya is. Moreover, the face behind the once operational 'Operation Kyllang' is now himself convicted of a heinous crime that put him behind bars and raised many eyebrows.

What could have been the plausible reason behind the sudden change of motive of the once supposed feared rebel. The only answer which could be reached at is of course, 'The jungle has spoiled him'.

Is it not then justified that the convict be scrutinized, under the once active purview of Operation Kyllang, in the same manner in which many rapists were punished by the very man whose integrity now stands questioned?

Time seems to have come a full circle for Julius it seems lest we forget Operation Kyllang.

By Ibankyntiew Mawrie and Shweta Raj Kanwar

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Opinions expressed in the article are the writers' own and TNT-The Northeast Today may or may not hold the same views