Uttar Pradesh: BJP MLA cleared of rape charges after police find no evidence, nephew arrested
Ravindra Nath Tripathi, the Bhadohi legislator, was among seven men booked for gangrape earlier this week.
The Uttar Pradesh Police on Saturday cleared Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Ravindra Nath Tripathi and five others who were booked in Bhadohi district for allegedly raping a woman multiple times over a month in 2017, PTI reported. However, the police arrested his nephew in the case.
The woman, who is 40 years old, had filed a complaint on February 10, police said.
“During investigation, no evidence was found against the Bhadohi MLA and five others,” Superintendent of Police Ram Badan Singh told reporters. “They have been given a clean chit. Tripathi’s nephew Sandeep Tiwari has been arrested on charge of rape.”
Another member of the family, identified as Neetesh, has been booked for manhandling and abusing the woman, Singh said.
The officer added that a two-member team was formed after the woman’s statement was recorded before a magistrate. Singh claimed they failed to find any evidence to corroborate her charges and the woman refused to undergo medical examination.
The complainant had claimed that Tripathi’s nephew Sandeep Tiwari, who is one of the accused, first raped her in 2016, and continued to sexually exploit her. However, she did not approach the police then as Tiwari had promised to marry her.
Ahead of the 2017 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, the woman was allegedly kept in a hotel for a month and raped repeatedly by the seven accused. The complainant claimed she got pregnant and was forced to go through an abortion, police said.
The incident occurred in the same year when expelled BJP leader Kuldeep Singh Sengar allegedly raped a teenager in Unnao district. A court in Delhi had on December 20 sentenced the former legislator to life imprisonment and also ordered him to pay Rs 25-lakh compensation to the complainant. On January 15, Sengar challenged his conviction in the Delhi High Court, which has asked the Central Bureau of Investigation to respond. The court will hear the matter again on May 4.
Former BJP MP Chinmayanand was on February 5 released from Shahjahanpur prison in Uttar Pradesh, two days after the Allahabad High Court granted him bail in a case of alleged sexual harassment of a law student.