BJP politician among six charged with gang-rape in India

Representational image of police from the western Indian state of Rajasthan   (AFP/Getty Images)
Representational image of police from the western Indian state of Rajasthan (AFP/Getty Images)

A politician from India’s ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is among six people charged in connection with the alleged gang-rape of a 45-year-old woman and the harassment of her minor daughter in the western Indian state of Rajasthan.

According to a police complaint, Mohan Jat, the BJP’s district general secretary in Pali city, was accused along with two other men of allegedly raping a woman and harassing a minor on 24 August.

Three women have also been named in the complaint for allegedly helping the accused.

The woman said she was called by Mr Jat regarding a property deal after which he, along with the other accused men, allegedly raped her, reported the Indian Express.

“Apart from Jat, three women have also been named as accused, as well as another man and an unknown person,” said a local police official.

The woman claimed Mr Jat had photos of her that he had taken previously, according to the official.

The woman alleged the accused also harassed her daughter, the officer said.

“We are presently investigating the case and no arrests have been made,” the police said in a statement.

The official complaint was lodged a day after the alleged incident took place, said police.

The accused were charged for gang-rape, rape and offences under India’s stringent law against child abuse, called the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.

The BJP unit for Pali district has denied the allegations.

Mr Jat told the Indian Express that he does not know the woman and claims to never have spoken to her.

“I have built a colony and there are plots there which I sell. Whenever people contact me expressing interest in purchasing the plots, I ask them to visit the site, where my employees show them around. I don’t meet them myself,” he said.

“The allegations against me are false and baseless. I have full faith in the justice system.”

The incident has come to light a little more than a week after an official in the Delhi government was arrested for allegedly raping a teenager, who was the daughter of his deceased friend.

Premoday Khakha, a deputy director at the Women and Child Development department of Delhi’s ruling Aam Admi Party government, had taken over the 14-year-old girl’s informal guardianship after her father died in October 2020.