UP: BJP MLA booked for harassment, son for rape
In a bizarre series of events, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA and his son have been booked for allegedly harassing and raping a woman in Uttar Pradesh. While the son, Laxmi Kant Verma, has been booked for rape, the father, Chotte Lal Verma, has been charged with harassment. The Agra Police registered an FIR against the Fatehabad MLA and his son on Wednesday.
- Members of the saffron party have been embroiled in controversies across various states.
- BJP functionaries have come under fire for allegedly torturing their domestic help in Jharkhand (Seema Patra), harassing fellow women neighbors in Noida (Shrikant Tyagi), and recommending the remission of 11 convicted in the Bilkis Bano gangrape case.
- In January, another Agra BJP leader was nabbed for allegedly gang-raping a woman twice.
According to India Today, the father-son duo was accused of harassing, raping, and sexually assaulting the son's wife. The woman claims that Laxmi Kant had married her years ago in a temple and allegedly forced her to undergo abortion thrice due to the sex of the child. Agra Police officials said that it is a matrimonial dispute and nobody has been arrested so far.
Officials said that the woman complainant knew Chhote Lal's daughter and often visited their residence, The Indian Express reported. She met Laxmi Kant in 2003, who allegedly called her home one day, spiked her drink, and raped her. "When she gained consciousness, Laxmi Kant threatened to kill her brother if she told anyone about it. He also allegedly promise to marry her," police said.
Purportedly, Laxmi Kant took "objectionable" pictures of the woman who was reportedly forced to marry him out of "social stigma and fear." The duo allegedly got married at a temple a few years later, but Laxmi Kant married another woman at Chotte Lal's direction in 2006, the woman claims. However, things were only starting to get worse.
The woman was given a house to stay in, where Laxmi Kant often assaulted her, officials said. There, she reportedly gave birth to a girl in 2011. "Laxmi Kant and Chotte Lal...forced her to abort three times for want of a male child," Agra Police said. The MLA's son began threatening her after she failed to produce a boy.
According to ANI, the men have been booked under IPC Sections 376 (rape), 313 (causing miscarriage without consent), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 504 (intentional insult), 506 (criminal intimidation), 494 (remarriage without divorcing), and 328 (poisoning). However, no arrests have been made so far.