The police have registered a rape case against former Gujarat Bharatiya Janata Party lawmaker Jayanti Bhanushali, PTI reported on Tuesday. The Surat Police have issued summons to Bhanushali to record his statement and undergo a medical examination.
Bhanushali, the former vice president of BJP’s Gujarat unit, is also accused of criminal intimidation, cheating, wrongful confinement and forgery. “We have issued summons to Bhanushali under Section 160 of the CrPC in the rape case filed at the Sarthana police station in the city in which he is the accused,” Police Commissioner Satish Sharma told PTI.
The woman has alleged that Bhanushali raped her on several occasions between November 2017 and March 2018 after promising to get her admitted to a fashion designing institute.
She also accused Bhanushali’s assistant of filming the assault in November. Bhanushali then used the video clip to blackmail and rape her, according to the complaint. In April, Bhanushali allegedly forced the woman to sign an affidavit that said she did not know him, reported the Hindustan Times.
Deputy Commissioner of Police Leena Patil is heading the investigation into the case. “We have visited the locations in Ahmedabad with the rape victim where she claimed that she was raped,” Patil told The Indian Express.
After the allegations, the 53-year-old leader stepped down from the post of Gujarat BJP vice president, and said he will not take up any post till his name was cleared. However, he has denied any wrongdoing and said the allegations are meant to tarnish his image. Bhanushali was the legislator from Abdasa in Kutch district from 2007 to 2012.