Priest on prowl repeatedly molested his minor victims

By Reigning Lyngdoh

Shillong, September 30, 2012
: Ironically, God was the last thing this priest feared. A day after Reverend Sangkunga Miller’s arrest, his victims revealed that the predator priest repeatedly molested the minors.

The four minor girls revealed that their tormentor would often ask them to wash his legs and give body massages even as he touched and groped them on several occasions.

The four girls, along with two boys, were rescued by the police with the help of the Civil Society Women’s Organisation (CSWO) and Childline on Saturday from the house of Miller – New Life Home at Nongrimmaw, Laitumkhrah on Saturday.

The girls who addressed Miller as “uncle”, narrated their nightmarish experiences in front of an aghast media.

Sadly, the girls did not have any idea what rape and molestation meant but from what they had to tell the press, it was understood that the action of the Church leader tantamounted to molestation and attempt to rape the minor girls.

“Uncle (Miller) used to ask us to wash his legs and massage his body on several occasions at home and he would touch our body. We don’t like him,” one of the girls told a few journalists here on Sunday.

“Uncle would always ask me to wash his feet. One day he locked me inside the bathroom. He then touched my chest and tried to take my blouse off in the bathroom. I did not like it and tried to push him away. While he was talking to someone on his cellphone, I managed to unbolt the bathroom door and escape,” said another victim who is 13 years old.

According to her, one of their roommates — about 14 years old — was also molested by Miller. “One night when she was unwell, he came to her room and switched off the lights. When she questioned him, uncle did not bother to reply and then took her pants off… but he failed in his attempt,” the girl said without making it clear as to what stopped the priest from going further.

The three other minor girls — eight, eleven and twelve y ears old — had similar tales to share. “One day while massaging his hands, he put his hand on my thigh and tried to slide it upwards. He even tried to open my zip,” said his 11-year-old victim.

The minor girls, however, said they couldn’t muster up the courage to expose Miller’s “sins” to anyone, including h is wife. “We used to talk among us only and did not tell either aunty (Miller’s wife) or the boys about this,” said one of them.

The girls also said that on several occasions they were forced to eat leftover food even as the 13-year-old girl used to cook for the hostel (run by Miller) inmates every day. They also said they never got new clothes from the priest and his family but some of the hostel inmates were kind enough to buy new clothes for them.

Meanwhile, a fresh FIR against Miller was filed on Sunday after the four minor girls made further revelations. The CSWO urged the authorities to book Miller under child abuse and molestation and protect the children from such perpetrators who take advantage of the poor people from villages.

Allegedly, Miller was exploiting the minor children b y forcing them to work as labourers in his hostel. These minor children in his hostel — aged between 7 and 17 years old — belonged to poor families from villages along the Meghalaya–Assam border.

The children were brought to Shillong by Miller with a promise to send them to school and take care of their needs. It is also alleged that a 15year-old-girl was raped by Miller in 2010 in his house but the victim could not reveal the whole episode in the past due to fear and helplessness.

Miller’s acts came to light only on Friday after two boys from his hostel managed to flee and reported the matter to the CSWO. Miller was arrested by the police after an FIR filed by CSWO members.

Miller, who runs a school along with a hostel, allegedly engaged these children in washing clothes of hostel inmates, cooking food for them and fetching water for his family as well as the hostellers. Miller also runs his own church called New Life Church.