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BJP Drops Four-time Nagaon MP Rajen Gohain Day After HC Quashes Rape Case

An FIR had been lodged against Gohain in August 2018 alleging rape by a married woman, and criminal proceedings were initiated against him.

Tulika Devi | News18

Updated:March 26, 2019, 7:53 PM IST
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BJP Drops Four-time Nagaon MP Rajen Gohain Day After HC Quashes Rape Case
An FIR had been lodged against Gohain in August 2018 alleging rape by a married woman, and criminal proceedings were initiated against him.

Guwahati: The Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday dropped Union Minister of State for Railways, Rajen Gohain, from its list of candidates in Assam for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Gohain, who has been the Nagaon MP for four consecutive terms since 1999, was replaced by MLA Rupak Sharma.

The 14 Lok Sabha constituencies in Assam will go to polls in three phases — April 11, April 18 and April 23. Nagaon will vote in the second phase on April 18.

The announcement came a day after the Gauhati High Court quashed criminal proceedings against Gohain in a case of rape. Gohain, 68, had earlier declared that he would not contest the polls unless all frivolous accusations against him were dismissed.

Tuesday was the last day for filing nominations for the second phase of polls. Sharma filed his nomination papers, along with Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Himanta Biswa Sharma and other state BJP leaders. Before filing his papers, Sharma visited the Nagaon MP, who has been his political mentor. Gohain, who was the first person to identify the young leader’s potential, backed Sharma’s entry into politics and the BJP. While Gohain was not present at home when Sharma visited him, the MLA met his mentor’s son, Nabarun Gohain, who promised full support.

An FIR had been lodged against Gohain in August 2018 alleging rape by a married woman, and criminal proceedings were initiated against him. In November last year, the Nagaon chief judicial magistrate took cognisance of the criminal proceedings. But the minister challenged it in the high court.

A case under sections 417 (cheating), 376 (rape) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code was registered against Gohain for allegedly raping and threatening the woman. The complaint said the alleged incident took place at the woman’s house when her husband and family members were away, seven to eight months before the FIR was lodged.

However, a week after the case was registered, the complainant’s husband said the family had withdrawn the case and requested the media to not report on the issue.

But the complainant’s statement was already recorded by the investigating officer by then and had reached the court. The police had said that the case could not be withdrawn at that point.

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