Ranchi: Two Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders have been booked over rape allegations made by own party women. However, it took 11 months for the Jharkhand police to act and register the First Information Report (FIR).
The two accused – one a two-time MLA from Baghmara – Dhullu Mahto and the other, a former Giridih MP Ravindra Pandey. He has been a five-time MP from Giridih itself. Both Mahto and Pandey are considered to be arch-rivals.
In November 2018, a female cadre of BJP had alleged that she had been molested by Baghmara MLA Dhullu Mahto. She even alleged that the MLA had tried to rape her. And when she had resisted and didn’t give in to his sexual advance, she had also been threatened. Somehow she had managed to escape.
Following which the woman had gone to Katras Police station to lodge an FIR against Mahto for the November 15 incident. However, the police did not act on her complaint.
Later, she lodged an online FIR. However, no action was taken on the online complaint, following which she moved to Jharkhand High Court, which on August 28, 2019, ordered Jharkhand police to register FIR against the MLA.
Significantly, another female BJP cadre also in November complained in Katras police station that on the pretext of a job, Pandey had called her at the house of the BJP block president and tried to rape her. However, she managed to escape. In her case too, the police didn’t act on her complaint.
It was only after the High Court order in Mahto’s that the FIR got registered, not only on Mahto but also for Pandey.
Watch the video of the woman, who had made sexual harassment allegations in November, 2018
The FIR against Mahto has been lodged under sections 376 (rape), 354 (assault to outrage a woman’s modesty) and 511 (attempt to commit offense) of the IPC, complaint dated November 23.
The FIR against Pandey has been lodged under sections 376 and 511 of IPC, on the date November 24, 2018.
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Kishor Kaushal said, “Action will be taken against the accused as per evidence that we shall gather after carrying out a detailed investigation.”
The #MeToo allegations on both the BJP leaders may or may not be true, but Jharkhand police are certainly acting ‘carefully’ in accordance with the situation.
Earlier, during the Lok Sabha polls, when the matter against Mahto and Pandey had been in discussion, BJP had given Giridih Lok Sabha seat ticket to its alliance partner AJSU, leaving the five-time Giridi MP Pandey as a mere spectator.
Political observers believe that with the FIR being filed just ahead of assembly polls may cost Mahto dearly.
Former Chief Minister and JMM’s working president Hemant Soren tweeted that BJP is the safest place for people like Senger and Chinmayanand and that the party acted only after being reprimanded by the High Court.
CPIML leader Vinod Singh has also expressed suspicion over the ‘true’ conclusion in both cases. He told eNewsroom, “The same agency which registered FIR so late will investigate the case, so one can easily understand that what will be the outcome.”
In another development on Wednesday , Dhullu Mahto has been sentenced for one and half year imprisonment in a six year old case.