TWO DAYS after AAP MLA Devender Sehrawat alleged that some AAP leaders in Punjab were sexually exploiting women, a group of party volunteers from Barnala have alleged that a party Observer, Vijay Chauhan, “sexually exploited” his domestic help and “hushed up the matter by paying her Rs 1 lakh.”
AAP Barnala youth circle wing president Ravinder Singh Dhillon, its grievances committee in-charge Ishar Singh Fauji and volunteer Makhan Singh Namol released an audio clip Tuesday in which a ticket aspirant from Dhuri, Rajwant Singh Ghulli, was purportedly trying to convince a woman not to press rape charges against party Observer Vijay Chauhan.
In the clip, a woman’s voice was heard alleging that her “honour was compromised” and a male voice (allegedly Ghulli) was telling her “not to spoil his chances.” The volunteers alleged that the woman was later “paid off and sent to Amritsar.”
Chauhan, they alleged, had rented Ghulli’s house, where the victim and her husband stayed and worked as domestic helps for the tenant.
Ravinder Singh Dhillon told mediapersons that the woman was “sexually exploited” by Chauhan. He claimed the audio clip had been sent to senior party leaders but no action was taken. “She (the victim) is now in Amritsar… We don’t know her exact whereabouts. The conversation in the clip was recorded when she was talking to Ghulli over the phone when the incident came to light in June. She had given us the audio clip then. We have been seeking justice for her since then but no avail.”
The trio alleged that senior party leaders, including Sanjay Singh, the party’s state in-charge of political affairs and Durgesh Pathak, AAP’s national organisaiton building head, knew about the issue but took no action.
Denying this, Sanjay Singh said this was the first time he was hearing about the alleged incident. He refused to comment further on the matter, saying he was yet to hear the contents of the said audio tape. He added that strict action would be taken if the allegations were true.
Chauhan denied the allegations against him and said it was a “conspiracy hatched by disgruntled ticket aspirants.”
Ghulli admitted that it was his voice in the tape but claimed that the woman and her husband were playing into the hands of certain elements who had “vested interests.”
Meanwhile, in a separate development, a section of AAP leaders also demanded that the ticket given to Aman Arora — a former Congress leader – from Sunam be cancelled, alleging that he had a “criminal background” and that he had “bought” the ticket.
Arora said, “These are baseless, ridiculous allegations. I challenge these people: if anybody has anything against me, please come forward. I will quit politics for good if they are proved right.” He claimed that the cases registered against him were the fallout of a family feud.