SHILLONG, July 17 - Chief Minister Mukul Sangma today said that “rapists are moving around freely” as there are delays in conviction of such criminals in cases related to crime against women and children in the State.
Addressing an investiture ceremony of Meghalaya Police at the police headquarters here, Sangma didn’t minced words and said, “People cannot tolerate crimes against women and children.”
Meghalaya has a high incidence of such crimes. In fact Mawhati MLA Julius Dorphang allegedly raped a minor and is lodged in jail. However, the conviction rate is notoriously poor due to shoddy investigations and the lengthy judicial procedures.
The Chief Minister said that the existence of the present laws was not acting as a deterrent to stop crimes against women and children.
“We are not seeing the kind of conviction (that is desired)... So rapists are moving around,” he said while asking the gathering of police personnel if “we are competent, capable”.
Sangma said that since there was a delay in conviction it emboldens habitual criminals to commit such crimes again and also encourages potential criminals.
Assuring all assistance to modernise the investigation wing of the police department, Sangma said that the proposals of the Forensic Department for additional manpower and equipments would be considered.
“We would make the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) of the State one of the best in the country,” he assured.
Meanwhile, the FSL Director, J Rymmai said the Department needs more professionals and also additional modern equipments. “The DNA laboratory in Shillong needs more manpower and equipments,” the director said.
He, moreover, added that the forensic lab has just four divisions, although there is a requirement for ten divisions. He urged the Government to take special care of the needs of this Department.
The Department has been in the focus of the public in view of the rising crimes against women and children and also other cases. The overlooked Department is getting a new look as it is in the process of shifting to its sprawling new office at Mawdiandiang next month.