New Delhi/Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik has written to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav asking reasons for retaining rape accused Gayatri Prajapati in his Cabinet.
Non-bailable warrants against Prajapati and six others were issued by police on Saturday, while the minister’s passport was impounded and a look-out notice issued against him.
Police had said raids were also being conducted in Lucknow, Kanpur and Amethi to trace 49-year-old Prajapati, who is absconding after being booked following a Supreme Court directive.
The rape case has come as a major embarrassment to the ruling Samajwadi Party, which has tied up with the Congress to keep the BJP at bay on ongoing elections.
At an election meeting in Jaunpur on Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said, "In this country, when we do something good, we chant the Gayatri Mantra. But, the SP-Congress alliance is chanting the 'Gayatri Prajapati Mantra'.”
"A case has been lodged against him (but) the chief minister went to campaign for him while he (Gayatri) was present there...Now, the police cannot trace him," Modi said.
"A daughter is seeking justice and the chief minister is shielding the gunehgaar (guilty)...What bigger blot can there be than this that in Uttar Pradesh when a buffalo goes missing, the government runs to find it.
"But, a girl is crying for justice and the police and chief minister are sleeping...Such a government needs to be punished," he said, reminding voters that they have got an opportunity to perform the "pind daan" (last rites) of their "tormentors".
On Sunday, BJP’s state chief Keshav Prasad Maurya asked Akhilesh to sack his “favourite” minister if he could not get him arrested.
मुख्यमंत्री अखिलेश जी अपने चहेते मंत्री गायत्री प्रजापति को गिरफ्तार तो नहीं करोगे बर्खास्त तो करो गिरफ्तारी 11 तारीख के बाद हम कर लेंगे pic.twitter.com/DWkTPbRiQL— Keshav Prasad Maurya (@kpmaurya1) March 5, 2017
Official sources told PTI that a Letter of Cancellation (LC) will soon be opened against Prajapati and all airports have been alerted to prevent the SP leader from fleeing the country.
A letter of cancellation is a technical term used for alerting immigration authorities about any possible move by a suspect to leave the country.
Whenever passport of the suspect comes for immigration clearance at any exit point of the country, the computer screen warns the official to not let the person leave.
The UP Police registered an FIR against Prajapati, who continues to elude them, for allegedly gang-raping a woman and molesting her minor daughter with his aides.
(With PTI inputs)