The Bharatiya Janata Party on Sunday morning suspended its lawmaker Tunna Ji Pandey within hours of his arrest for allegedly molesting a 12-year-old co-passenger on a train.
The legislative council member, who hails from Siwan, was on board the Howrah-Gorakhpur Purvanchal Express when he molested the girl sleeping on a berth next to his, said a complaint filed by the minor’s father, a businessman, with the government railway police (GRP).
The two were travelling from Kolkata in West Bengal to Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh. The lawmaker had even tried to take the girl to the bathroom, news agency ANI quoted Hajipur GRP chief Sanjay Singh as saying.
An FIR has been registered against Pandey who was arrested at Hajipur, his destination.
Pandey, however, denied the charge. He was about to get down at Hajipur at around 3.15 am when he switched on the light and tried to unplug his cellphone adapter from a charging point, the 47-year-old said.
“The girl raised an alarm, alleging that I had misbehaved with her. I didn’t even know whether it was a girl or a boy who was sleeping,” Pandey said.
I was just taking out my phone charger,didn't even know whether it was a girl who was sleeping or a boy:Tunna Pandey pic.twitter.com/Sxcj9Qj89F— ANI (@ANI_news) July 24, 2016
The party suspended Pandey as soon as it got the information about his arrest, BJP’s Bihar unit vice-president Sanjay Mayukh said in Patna. The party also issued him a show-cause notice. “He has to reply to the charge within seven days after which the party will decide the future course of action,” Mayukh said.
Pandey is the second BJP leader to face party action in less than a week. The BJP expelled its Uttar Pradesh vice-president Dayashankar Singh on July 20 after he compared Dalit leader and four-time chief minister Mayawati to a prostitute. Uttar Pradesh is due for polls early 2017.
A liquor trader, Pandey created a stir a few years ago when he accused the then Saran deputy inspector general of police of demanding a bribe of Rs 10 crore.