A close aide of Uttar Pradesh Transport Minister, Gayatri Prasad Prajapati surrendered before the Lucknow Police on the day the Supreme Court refused to grant relief to the Samajwadi Party leader in a gangrape case. Chandrapal, a head constable, is one of the seven accused in the gangrape case. Prajapati, who is facing rape allegations, is still ‘missing’. On Saturday, a non-bailable warrant was issued against Prajapati by a local court after impounding his passport. UP Governor Ram Naik on Sunday also wrote to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav questioning his decision to retain Prajapati in his cabinet despite the seriousness of the charges against him.
A woman moved the Supreme Court earlier alleging that Prajapati and six others raped her at his Lucknow residence in 2014. He allegedly blackmailed her with photographs of the rape to dissuade her from going to the police. The woman also alleged that her minor daughter was also subjected to a similar assault in 2016. The apex court directed the UP police to register an FIR against Prajapati. The bench, however, termed it as unfortunate that its order is being given a “political” colour.
Leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party have frequently cited the gangrape case during the party’s UP poll campaign. Party president Amit Shah said that Prajapati would be put behind bars if the party sweeps to power. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also raised the issue in his campaign rallies.
Previously, Prajapati was sacked from the cabinet by Akhilesh after the Central Bureau of Investigation initiated a probe against him in connection with a land mine scam. He was reinducted into the cabinet at Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav’s behest and was given the transport portfolio.