'MINISTER DIGGING INTO COMPLAINANT'S PAST'
Campaigning for his election with police security cover ahead of polling in Amethi assembly constituency on February 27 Uttar Pradesh’s controversial minister Gayatri Prajapati (49) who was arrested today from Lucknow was digging into the past of the woman simultaneously who had accused him and his aides of gang raping her repeatedly for over 2 years.
The minister also faces charges under Protection of children from sexual offences (POCSO) Act, 2012 for allegedly molesting the woman’s minor daughter presently hospitalised at AIIMS, Delhi.
The minister was on the run after issuance of a non-bailable warrant against him a couple of days back. His phone was constantly switched off. His passport had been impounded and a look-out notice issued as the minister was allegedly attempting to flee the country. Governor Uttar Pradesh Ram Naik had reportedly written to chief minister Akhilesh Singh asking why Prajapati was continuing in his cabinet.
The passport was impounded and look-out notice issued hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a scathing attack on SP-Cong alliance said the alliance was chanting Gayatri Prajapati Mantra instead of Gayatri Mantra.
Barely 5 days ahead of the polling the minister, in his conversation with me in Amethi, told me as to how he had procured some documents and was in the process of getting more which would help him get relief from the court. On his possible arrest he said he had filed an application in the SC to present his side. “Police are investigating the matter to see if the charges stand prima facie.”
Blaming the BJP for a conspiracy against him due to his work as, he said, he was working to consolidate at least 17 weaker sections castes for Samajvadi Party the minister had dubbed SP patron Mulayam Singh Yadav Lord Shiva, Akhilesh Yadav as Lord Ganesha and himself as ‘Nandi’ (mount of Lord Shiva).
However, police sources said since the complainant woman had already accused the police of not acting on her complaints against the minister and rather intimidating her and her daughter in a bid to silence them the documents with the minister would hardly help him get any reprieve.
BJP leader Anugrah Narayan Mishra said everybody in Amethi knew the consequences of raising his voice against the minister. As far as his disappearance was concerned it’s not possible that the ruling party leaders were not aware of his whereabouts.
Much to disappointment of the minister he not only lost the assembly elections but Samajvadi Party also faced a humiliating defeat. The BJP leaders' election promise was to arrest Prajapati immediately after coming to power. However, before the BJP could form the government formally the police authorities acted swiftly for obvious reasons. There was no confusion in their mind on arrest of the minister, though the SP government is technically still in power till the BJP govt is formed. Arrest of the minister's aides and his son mounted pressure on him to come out of his hiding and he was ultimately arrested today.