October 1, 2021 2:25:51 am
A local court in Vadodara on Thursday remanded Raju Bhatt alias Hemant, one of the two accused in the alleged case of rape of a 24-year-old LLB student, in three- day police custody. The Vadodara Detection of Crime Branch (DCB), which is investigating the high-profile rape case, produced Bhatt in court following his arrest on Wednesday.
In its remand application before the court, the police said that Bhatt also subjected the victim to “unnatural sex” following the rape on September 19.
The police told the court that it needed the custody of the accused in order to reconstruct the scene of the crime in the flat where the alleged rape occurred on September 14.
Among the other grounds on which the police have sought Bhatt’s remand is the investigation into the presence of a spy camera in the bedroom of the flat occupied by the the student as well as how the accused got hold of the photographs of the incident that were then shared on social media.
The police have also told the court that a probe is needed to ascertain if any other persons were involved in sharing the nude photographs of the victim to blackmail her.
The remand application also states that the police is also investigating how and when did the victim and the accused first meet each other as well as the involvement of other possible investors in the alleged deal involving the Vadodara land of a company that is a SEBI defaulter.
The police have also stated in the application that the accused has been misleading the investigators by evading answers and trying to protect the co-accused Chartered Accountant Ashok Jain, who is on the run.
Senior police officials of the Crime Branch said that Bhatt has maintained that he was in a “consensual physical relationship” with the victim and did not force himself upon her.
Bhatt was apprehended from Junagadh on Tuesday evening, nine days after the FIR was registered.
Bhatt, who resigned as the Secretary of the Kalika Mata Temple Trust that manages the Pavagadh temple, is accused of raping the student after being introduced to her as Jain’s trainee, allegedly on the pretext of discussing a possible sale of a controversial land that is in possession of SEBI for default.
Meanwhile, businessman and hotelier Kanji Mokariya, who was arrested late on Monday night for allegedly aiding Bhatt’s escape from the city and trying to reach a compromise with the victim, has been sent to judicial custody. Jain meanwhile has approached a local court for anticipatory bail in the case.
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