Shillong, June 7 (IANS) The police officer accused of raping two minor sisters should be dismissed from service, said Meghalaya Governor R.S. Mooshahary.
Nurul Islam, who was in charge of the Ampati police station, was arrested June 1 on charges of raping two sisters. The next day, Islam escaped from police custody from Tura, the district headquarters town of West Garo Hills.
Ampati, the assembly constituency of Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, is about 375 km from the state capital.
"The crime is uncondonable and totally deplorable. He (Islam) should be brought to book without delay. He has to be dismissed from service and cannot be in police service," Mooshahary told IANS Thursday.
On Tuesday, a court had issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against Islam.
Islam had allegedly raped a 14-year-old girl inside the Ampati police station March 13. On March 31, he raped her sister, 17, at gunpoint, in their house.
The officer had threatened to kill both the girls if they dared to inform anyone.
Expressing concern over the rise in crimes against women in the state, Mooshahary said: "It is an alarming situation where every month rape cases are being reported. In most of the cases, the crimes were committed by those who are known to the victims."
He also attributed the rise of crime against women and children to the "downslide in people's moral standards".
Incidents of crime against women, especially rape, have been showing an upward trend in Meghalaya, traditionally known for its matrilineal society and respect for women.
Meghalaya government statistics reveal that in 2012, 255 crimes crimes were reported against women, of which 164 were rapes.
"When I was a student, we never heard of such crimes. But nowadays, there is a downslide in morality. When people choose to learn the wrong things, instead of the right, from television, internet and mobile phones, this is the result," said Mooshahary who graduated from Shillong.
Meghalaya police have stepped up efforts to arrest Islam and put Islam's photograph and his details on their website under the "Wanted" list.
"His whereabouts are unknown. He has gone into hiding, but a search operation has been launched to trace Islam," Inspector General of Police (Western Range) H. Hongpluh said.
Islam has two permanent addresses: Mahamayachar village under South Salmara police station in Dhubri district; and Gaibanda village under Lakhipur police station in Goalpara district, Assam.