Non-bailable warrant against rape accused minister, six others
Lucknow, March 4 (IANS) A non-bailable warrant (NBW) has been issued against Uttar Pradesh’s Transport Minister Gayatri Prajapati, who is the prime accused in a gang rape case and is absconding for the past few days.
Police said that non-bailable warrants have also been issued against six other accused in connection with the same case.
Raids have been conducted at various places, including a factory manufacturing incense sticks in Kanpur, to try and locate the minister.
A lookout notice has also been issued against Prajapati to ensure that he does not fly out of India to escape the law, an official told IANS.
Vigil has been stepped up on the porous Indo-Nepal border, which police apprehend could be used by the minister to give them the slip.
Prajapati is contesting the ongoing state assembly elections on the Samajwadi Party (SP) ticket.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leaders have been attacking Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on the issue and alleging that the free run of the minister was an example of ‘jungle raj’ in the state.
BJP’s state President Keshav Prasad Maurya had on Friday alleged that the Chief Minister was giving shelter to the tainted minister.
Retorting to the accusations, Yadav had asked media persons to come with cameras to see if Prajapati was holed up in his residence, as alleged by the opposition. He had also urged the minister to surrender. This, opposition said, showed how patronising Akhilesh Yadav was towards the minister, also a close associate of his father Mulayam Singh Yadav.
“The fact that the Chief Minister cannot even get a rape accused arrested shows how weak and helpless the state government is,” said BJP state General Secretary Vijay Bahadur Pathak.
While the Congress and SP leaders are publicly not saying anything on the Gayatri Prajapati episode, they admit in private that the issue has snowballed into a major embarrassment for them in the middle of a crucial election.
“We can’t say this in public, but the whole issue, especially after the Supreme Court ordered lodging of an FIR against Prajapati, has put us in a tight spot,” a senior Congress leader told IANS.
Prajapati is also accused of patronising the illegal mining mafia when he was the mining minister and a probe has been ordered by the Allahabad High Court in this matter.