The Gujarat Police on Thursday issued a second summons against former Bharatiya Janta Party lawmaker Jayanti Bhanushali in connection with a rape case filed against him by a 21-year-old woman, PTI reported. Surat Police Commissioner Satish Sharma said it was issued after the 53-year-old MLA failed to turn up after initial summons were issued on July 23 under Section 160 of the Criminal Procedure Code, reported PTI.
Police said the second summons was sent to his home in Ahmedabad. Bhanushali is believed to be absconding. Police had to record his statement and subject him to a medical examination.
In her complaint, the woman alleged that Bhanushali raped her on many occasions between November 2017 and March 2018 after promising her admission to an institute of fashion designing. She also accused his assistant of filming the sexual assault in November. The MLA then used the video clip to blackmail and rape her again. In April, he allegedly forced her to sign an affidavit saying she did not know him, reported the Hindustan Times.
Bhanushali, the former vice-president of BJP’s Gujarat unit, has been charged under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code, including for public servant committing rape, criminal intimidation, and wrongful confinement, among others. After the allegations, he stepped down and said he would not take up any post till his name was cleared.