UP: Rape-accused BSP MP surrenders, gets 14-days remand
Bahujan Samaj Party MP Atul Rai, who had been absconding for a month after being accused of rape, finally surrendered on Saturday before a Varanasi court. The magistrate remanded Rai to 14 days of judicial custody. In court, Rai, who won from the parliamentary constituency of Ghosi, was accompanied by scores of his supporters who raised slogans for him. Here's more on this.
Context: College girl alleged Rai raped her, he claimed innocence
In May, Rai was booked for rape on the basis of a complaint of a girl from Ballia. The victim, a college student, claimed Rai took her to his home under the pretext of meeting his wife. There he raped her. An FIR was registered at Lanka police station under IPC Sections 376, 504, 506 and 420. However, Rai denied the allegations.
Rai didn't campaign for himself, still won polls
After the FIR was filed, Rai went underground. He didn't even participate in electioneering. When his party's matriarch Mayawati and her foe-turned-ally SP President Akhilesh Yadav visited the constituency for a rally, Rai remained absent. His wife and brother filled in for him. Despite this, Rai won from Ghosi, becoming one of the 15 candidates of mahagathbandhan to secure a seat in 80-seated UP.
Meanwhile, Rai questioned the victim's story, said he is innocent
Before he surrendered, Rai claimed he was innocent. He said the complainant leveled similar allegations on two other men before him. He also said he was ready to face probe by any agency. Earlier, after he won polls, he had released a video thanking his voters. He said people's court gave him a clean chit and soon legal proceedings would end too.
SC denied relief to Rai, he skipped dates at court
On May 27, Rai approached the Supreme Court seeking protection from arrest, but he was denied any relief. The CJI Ranjan Gogoi-led bench said it wasn't inclined to entertain such a plea. Subsequently, a Judicial Magistrate gave Rai three dates to surrender, but he didn't show up. Meanwhile, the victim approached Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and other top cops.
Victim said Rai's goons were threatening her
On June 12, she wrote a letter to Adityanath and other senior cops claiming that Rai and his goons were threatening her to withdraw the case. She also raised questions as to why Rai was not immediately arrested after the FIR was lodged. Interestingly, Rai didn't arrive at the Lok Sabha, earlier this week, to take the oath as an MP either.