Former BJP Office-bearer Among Five Held For Running Sex Racket In Rajasthan
Five people including former BJP Mahila Morcha district president and three government employees have been arrested in Rajasthan's Sawai Madhopur for allegedly running a sex racket, police said on Saturday. Three others including a former office-bearer of the Congress-affiliated Seva Dal, Poonam Chaudhary alias Pooja, are absconding and searches are being carried out to nab them, they said.
- Last Updated: October 3, 2020, 20:54 IST
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Jaipur: Five people including former BJP Mahila Morcha district president and three government employees have been arrested in Rajasthan’s Sawai Madhopur for allegedly running a sex racket, police said on Saturday. Three others including a former office-bearer of the Congress-affiliated Seva Dal, Poonam Chaudhary alias Pooja, are absconding and searches are being carried out to nab them, they said.
The sex racket came to light after the parents of a 17-year-old girl lodged a complaint at Mahila Thana, Sawai Madhopur, last month alleging that the accused forced her to have sexual intercourse with several people, the police said. Investigating Officer and Deputy Superintendent of Police, Women’s Cell, Omprakash Solanki said so far five people — Sunita Verma alias Sampat Bai, Sandeep Sharma, Rajulal Raiger, Shyoram Meena and Heeralal Meena — have been arrested.
The accused women used to send girls to government employees in exchange for money or getting work done, he said. Verma, who is the former district president of BJP Mahila Morcha, was sacked from the post after her arrest on September 26, the party said.
The victim alleged that Verma forced her to have sexual intercourse with several people. She was raped and the act was filmed. The video was later used by the accused to blackmail the girl and force her yield to their demands, according to police. Solanki said the minor was sexually assault several times between October 2019 and May 2020.
“The accused were allegedly running the racket and we are investigating the matter to ascertain how many other girls were in their trap,” Solanki said. Verma and Heeralal Meena are under police custody till October 6 and are being interrogated, he said.
A case has been registered at the Mahila Thana under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including that of gang rape, and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, the police said. BJP district president Bharat Lal Mathuria said Verma was sacked from the post after the matter came to light and she has also been expelled from the party.
“Sunita Verma was the district president of Mahila Morcha but the party has expelled her for her involvement in the case,” he said. “She was in the party for the last three years and was given the post due to her work. She used to work for the poor but when and how she got involved in such activities is not known to us,” he said.
Mathuria said the Mahila Morcha’s executive committee will be dissolved and a new one constituted soon. Hem Singh Shekhawat, district president of the Seva Dal, a grassroots front organisation of the Congress, said Poonam Chaudhary’s appointment as the district president of the women’s wing in February 2019 by the then Seva Dal district president was “unauthorised”.
Only the state chief of women’s wing can appoint a district president, he said. “District president of Seva Dal cannot appoint a district president of the women’s wing. Therefore, the appointment was unauthorised. Secondly, the woman was never seen in any function (of Seva Dal) and hence her affiliation is under doubt,” he said.
Shekhawat said, “I have apprised the Seva Dal office-bearers in New Delhi about the matter.” The National Commission for Women has asked the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) to look into the matter, NCW member Rajulben Desai said. Desai along with another NCW member Shyamala S Kundar was in Jaipur to meet government officials to discuss the status of crime against women in Rajasthan.
“We came to know about the matter today and have asked the NCPCR to look into the matter and submit a report to the government,” Desai told reporters.
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