Bihar’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) on Sunday suspended its Nawada MLA and former minister Raj Ballabh Yadav who has been charged with raping a minor in his home on February 6.
Yadav is reportedly on the run as the police launched a manhunt for him after an FIR was lodged with the Mahila police station of Biharsharif on February 9. Medical reports confirmed the rape on a class ten student.
State RJD chief Ram Chandra Purve said the party has suspended Yadav after verification of reports pouring in from various sources, including media. He attributed the absence of knowledge about the incident to the delay in taking drastic action against the MLA.
Soon after the news regarding the rape broke out on Saturday, deputy chief minister Tejashwi Prasad Yadav had said that the law enforcing machinery was acting in an impartial way and the guilty would not be spared.
Deputy inspector general (DIG) of Patna police range Shalin said intensive raids were being conducted to nab the fugitive legislator after the victim identified him as the perpetrator of crime. The district police is hoping for issuance of an arrest warrant on Monday.
The victim, who was residing in a rented house with her family at Garhpar area of Biharsharif, was allegedly taken to the legislator’s place at Pathra English locality of Bakhtiyapur in Patna district on February 6 with the excuse of attending a birth anniversary by a woman named Sulekha Devi. Reports said Devi was paid Rs 30,000 for offering the girl to the legislator.
The victim was later dropped back her house a day later with a warning to keep the incident to herself. Sulekha and one of her accomplices have been arrested by the police.
The MLA was also accused of raping of a student in a hotel nearly two decades ago. He was, however, not convicted.
The JD(U), which is ruling the state in an alliance with RJD and the Congresss, had recently suspended Jokihat MLA Sarfaraz Alam after a women travelling with him in Rajdhani Express filed a case, charging him with harassment and physical assault last month.