Mayawati orders BSP legislator’s arrest in minor’s rape (Lead)

January 12th, 2011 - 10:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, Jan 12 (IANS) Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati Wednesday ordered the arrest of her party legislator Purshottam N. Dwivedi, accused of being involved in the gang rape of a minor in his Banda constituency.The order came after the preliminary report submitted by the crime branch of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) confirmed that the 17-year-old girl was gang raped in Banda, about 180 km from here.

“A case has already been registered against the MLA and his three henchmen, Rajendra Shukla, Surendra Neta and Ravan Garg and orders have been issued for their immediate arrest,” state Cabinet Secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh said at a press conference here

“As per the preliminary report submitted by CID, the girl was kept under illegal confinement for four days from December 8 to December 12, 2010. However, there was no sexual assault on her for the first three days, but on the night of December 11 and 12, she was raped twice, not only by the MLA but also by his cohorts,” Singh added.

Dwivedi, however, was not arrested until late evening even as police confirmed his presence in the state capital here. “We are trying to track him down but he cannot be traced,” a senior police official told IANS here.

Mayawati had Jan 2 ordered Dwivedi’s suspension from the party for his alleged involvement in the gang rape.

The 17-year-old victim had accused Dwivedi and his henchmen of not only subjecting her to gang rape but also using his influence to falsely implicate her in a case of theft.

Dwivedi accused her of stealing the legislator’s licensed revolver and Rs.5,000 from his house, for which she was sent to jail in Banda, 180 km from here.

The victim, however, has yet to get any respite. Singh said: “The preliminary report has also found the girl guilty of committing a theft of Rs.5,000 from the house of the MLA, from where she also took away his daughter-in-law’s mobile phone.”

“It has been found that she made about 150 calls from that mobile phone thereby making her also culpable.”

The cabinet secretary claimed that the “government never spares anyone no matter how high and mighty he would be; therefore it was absolutely baseless on the part of the opposition parties to be accusing the government of shielding the MLA”.

He added: “The chief minister had already ordered his suspension from the party and no sooner than the final CID report holds him guilty, she would expel him from the party.”

Opposition parties, however, saw this as an “eyewash”. State Congress spokesman Vivek Singh said: “If the government was sincere, it would have ordered release of the poor innocent girl, who was jailed simply because she dared to speak up against her rape by the MLA.”

Samajwadi Party spokesman Rajendra Chaudhary said that “the fact that the police was not able to arrest the legislator clearly reflects the government’s real intentions”.

The role of Banda Superintendent of Police A.K. Das also came under scrutiny for allegedly trying to coerce the victim not to name the legislator as the culprit.

Earlier, in December 2008, another BSP legislator Shekhar Tiwari was involved in the murder of PWD executive engineer M.K. Gupta in Auraiya district on account of his refusal to meet the legislator’s unending demand for money.

In 2007, yet another BSP legislator Guddu Pandey was arrested for raping a college teacher in Bulandshahr.

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