Activists seek FIR against Meghalaya ex-governor V Shanmuganathan, politicians give guarded response

Even as former Meghalaya governor V Shanmuganathan hurriedly resigned from office on Friday, with his alleged sexual escapades in the premises of the Raj Bhavan coming out thick and fast in public domain, the anger in streets of Shillong is refusing to die down.

The gravity of the matter can be gauged from the fact that nearly 100 members of the Meghalaya Raj Bhavan wrote an extended letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday complaining of Shanmuganathan turning the governor's office into a "young ladies club" and compromising the "dignity" of the office of the governor.

People outside the Raj Bhavan in Shillong signed the petition tp President Pranab Mukherjee seeking action against former Meghalaya governor V Shanmuganthan. Image courtesy Thma U Rangli

People outside the Raj Bhavan in Shillong signed the petition tp President Pranab Mukherjee seeking action against former Meghalaya governor V Shanmuganthan. Image courtesy Thma U Rangli

People are finding it difficult to believe that the former governor should go scot-free despite being allegedly involved in such behaviour in complete disregard to the dignity of his office. Some organisations are even contemplating of filing a FIR against Shanmuganathan.

"We are still exploring the FIR angle. None of the victims have come forward yet to file a FIR. He is a very well-connected person. But we are seeking an enquiry into the matter. Just because he was a governor he should not escape without punishment. The Raj Bhavan staff should be interviewed. The victims should also be interviewed. Some of them have come out but they are scared. A simple resignation won't do," Angela Rangad, a member of Thma U Rangli-Juki, an organisation pressing for legal action against the former governor told Firstpost from Shillong.

Thma U Rangli-Juki even collected signatures from people in a letter addressed to President Pranab Mukherjee, who came to the Raj Bhavan on Thursday on account of the Republic Day, seeking proper investigation in the matter.

"In this age where sexual harassment cannot be excused, these allegations need to be investigated independently while ensuring anonymity of the complainants," the letter to the president reads.

President Petition by Firstpost on Scribd

Perhaps owing to Shanmuganathan's Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh background, the state BJP gave a measured response to the whole incident.

"I cannot say anything. I have seen in the newspaper only that there is some allegation against him. With due respect to the law of the land, I think it's good he resigned so that the enquiry is free and fair. He should cooperate with enquiry. If he is wrong he should be punished. And if he is not wrong, those who are against him or if there is any conspiracy, those people should be punished," said Meghalaya BJP president Shibun Lyngdoh.

However, Lyngdoh refrained from elucidating further by what he exactly meant by bringing in the conspiracy angle.

"I cannot say anything. It's the private life of a man. After having such a respectable post and heading the constitutional set up in the state, I cannot say anything more about it," he said.

The BJP president did not give any clear indication if the party would seek a CBI enquiry into the matter.

"Recently a message was sent to the Central government to advise the president to depute an enquiry commission against the governor. Tomorrow we will meet and take a decision on the issue formally," Lyngdoh said.

Bluebell R Sangma, Congress MLA from Chokpot,  also sought an inquiry into the incident.

"I think there should be an enquiry. Then only we will know about the actual thing," she said.

National People's Party president and Tura Lok Sabha MP Conrad Sangma termed the incident as an "unfortunate" one.

"It is a very unfortunate thing that has taken place. And the fact that the governor himself has stepped down, I think he is also wanting a proper enquiry... Without a proper enquiry it would be wrong to speculate anything. Everybody should have a fair chance. If he had stuck to his seat... , then there is a reason to say that he should step down for a fair enquiry. Since he has resigned voluntarily let the law take its own course. Without all the facts in front of us it would not be correct for us to blame anyone. It should have happened at the first place," Conrad said.

Published Date: Jan 27, 2017 21:12 PM | Updated Date: Jan 27, 2017 21:24 PM

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