Two local BJP workers were booked in a rape case in Astha of Madhya Pradesh on Sunday. While the police nabbed one accused, another is on the run. Raja Ram, 35, was arrested for allegedly raping a 28-year-old woman repeatedly for the last two years, said Ashta Sub Divisional Officer of Police G P Agrawal.
Ram’s friend Mukesh Thakur, also accused of raping the woman, was absconding, he said.
While Raja is a working committee member of the Madhya Pradesh BJP’s Scheduled Caste Cell, Mukesh Thakur, 32, is a local representative of the BJP MP Manohar Untwal. Raja also runs a center under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas (Skill Development) Yojana and gave a job to the victim at the centre in April 2016. According to the complaint, he ‘raped’ her many times by “cheating” and “offering allurements” to her, forcing her to sleep with his friend Thakur on several occasions.
According to police officials, a case under IPC sections 376 (rape) and 506 (criminal intimidation) were lodged against the duo. Meanwhile, local BJP leaders assured of taking action against the two members. District BJP chief Sitaram Yadav, while answering question on the expulsion of the two members, said: “After getting the report we will take appropriate action.”
The BJP is facing extreme backlash over its support to the alleged accused in the Kathua rape and murder case. BJP ministers Chander Parkash Ganga and Choudhary Lal Singh had to resign from the Cabinet for attending the rally organised by the Hindu Ekta Manch in support of the accused. However, the party replaced its Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh, who had supported the Crime Branch probe, with Kavinder Gupta who went to describe the case as a “minor issue”.