Friday, Oct 24, 2014

Alleging sexual abuse, cover-up, woman comes out to name Union Minister

The accused have been asked to appear in court on August 20. The accused have been asked to appear in court on August 20.
Written by Sweta Dutta | Jaipur | Posted: June 14, 2014 3:30 am | Updated: June 14, 2014 6:13 am

Three years after a woman accused Ganganagar MP Nihal Chand, now a minister in the Modi government, and 16 others of sexual exploitation, her statement is yet to be recorded under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Calling her allegations baseless, the investigating officer even filed a case closure report.

Now, a Jaipur court, acting on a revision plea,  has asked the 17 she accused, including Nihal Chand, to appear in court on August 20. Now 20, she was a minor when she claims she was sexually abused.

From a village in Sirsa in Haryana, she says she married Om Prakash Godara of Pilibanga in Hanumangarh. “A couple of months later, my husband brought me to Jaipur. I always felt drowsy and numb. Months later, I realised my food was being laced with intoxicants. My husband kept watch on me while I ate. One day, I threw away the food when he was not watching. It was then that I discovered I was being sexually exploited by other men. When I confronted my husband, he admitted he was using me to further political and financial interests,” she alleged, speaking to The Indian Express over phone from Sirsa.

Godara has been a member of the BJP Yuva Morcha, Akhil Bharatiya Jat Yuva Mahasabha and the Pilibanga Panchayat Samiti.

“My husband would invite his contacts to our house or escort me somewhere else. I was always locked up. If neighbours got suspicious, he would move to a new house. We changed at least four houses over six months in Jaipur,” she claimed.

“He told me he took money from his contacts for the favour. He had installed CCTV cameras in the house and recorded the encounters. Later, he told me he had made several CDs of the people I have named in my complaint.”

When there was no word from her for a long time, her uncle showed up in Jaipur to check on her. “My father died when I was six years old  and my uncle brought me up. He was shocked to see my condition. But he too was beaten up and confined to the house. We somehow managed to slip out. We went straight to our village in Haryana. Over 100 people from my village went to Pilibanga when the panchayat met to discuss the matter. My husband alleged that my uncle had abducted me. But I testified that I wanted to go home and not live with my husband any longer,” she said.

“Since I was mostly drugged, I cannot clearly recall the dates and places. I can identify some of the accused including Nihal Chand. As for the other accused, my husband would tell me their names later. That is how I named them,” she said.

The woman first approached the police in 2011, alleging repeated sexual exploitation continued…

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