The BJP’s Meghalaya vice-president Bernard N Marak, who is in jail in connection with two cases including one of running a sex racket from his farmhouse, was arrested in a third case, a police officer said on Thursday.
In the new case, Marak, a former militant leader, was charged with extortion, cheating and forgery.
He was arrested on Wednesday and a court in West Garo Hills district remanded him to five days of police custody.
West Garo Hills Superintendent of Police Vivekanand Singh said the BJP leader was arrested for his alleged involvement in extorting money from traders leading to a rise in prices of certain food items.
Marak was accused of committing offences under IPC sections involving extortion, cheating, forgery and others, Singh said.
He was first arrested in Uttar Pradesh on 29 July on the charge of operating a sex racket from his farmhouse in West Garo Hills district.
On 22 July, six minors were rescued from the farmhouse. The police arrested 73 people from there, seized their cars and recovered alcoholic beverages and condoms.
Following the arrest warrant issued against him in July, NDTV featured a video clip of Marak speaking to the press from a place of hiding in which he alleged that the raid on his farmhouse was “politically motivated.”
“In order to malign my image and to bring my reputation down, they have gone out with a very well-planned tactics which they have intruded into my land without a warrant, without an FIR and it is solely politically motivated,” Marak told the press.
Meghalaya BJP leader Bernard N. Marak arrested in Hapur distt of Uttar Pradesh. A police team is coming from Meghalaya to take him to Tura. NBW issued against him in connection with Immoral Trafficking Act, 1956. He will be duly handed over to Meghalaya police: UP Police pic.twitter.com/r8VaeCWJuV
— Piyush Rai (@Benarasiyaa) July 26, 2022
Marak was arrested again on 10 August under Explosive Substances Act. A total of 35 gelatine sticks and 100 detonators, four crossbows and 15 arrows were seized from the BJP leader’s farmhouse, the police have said.
The BJP is a part of the state’s ruling Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA), led by Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma of the National People’s Party (NPP).
Marak was the chairman of the now-disbanded armed rebel group ANVC(B), a breakaway faction of the Achik National Volunteer Council, before he joined the BJP. He was later elected to the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council from Tura.