Rape accused UP minister Gayatri Prajapati goes underground

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gayatri-prajapatiControversial Uttar Pradesh minister Gayatri Prajapati, the candidate from Amethi seat in the assembly polls, apparently went undercover after cops, on SC directions, began searching for him in a rape case.

The minister was earlier sacked by CM Akhilesh Yadav, but was later reinstated after Mulayam Singh Yadav and Shivpal came to his rescue. Though a Mulayam loyalist, Akhilesh refused Prajapati to come on to the stage when he went there to campaign.

Prajapati was last seen campaigning in Amethi. Last week, he went to a rally addressed by CM Akhilesh Yadav, who did not share the stage with the rape accused minister following criticism by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Modi taunted Akhilesh for starting his UP campaign with Prajapati by his side at a rally in Sultanpur.

On February 17, the Supreme Court (SC) directed UP police to file a case against Prajapati on a complaint by Chitrakoot resident. The charges against Prajapati looked serious enough. In her testimony, the victim alleged that Prajapati and seven of his aides gangraped her and also tried to rape her 17-year-old daughter. This attracts charges under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act and the IPC.

Police said the minor is presently undergoing treatment at New Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences and once she records her statement, Prajapati’s arrest could be imminent.

A police team that went to Prajapti’s house in Amethi returned empty handed. He is not available in his Lucknow bungalow either. The police, however, did not rule out the possibility of approaching the court for a warrant.

Meanwhile,Prajapati has denied even knowing the woman. He also moved the SC for protection from arrest. Sources say he may not be arrested before the UP poll results on March 11.