Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati on Sunday suspended a legislator of her Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) accused of raping a minor girl.
In an order, the chief minister said BSP legislator Pushottam Narain Dwivedi has been suspended from the party pending an inquiry by the Crime Investigation Department. If found guilty, Dwivedi will be expelled from the party and sent to jail.
"No one, howsoever important, will be spared," the chief minister said in a stern message.
On Saturday, the chief minister ordered a police inquiry into the allegations of gangrape and illegal confinement of a minor girl by Dwivedi and his supporters in the state's Banda district.
The girl, belonging to the Dalit community, had accused Dwivedi and his henchmen of not only subjecting her to gangrape but also using his influence to implicate her in a theft case.
Dwivedi accused her of stealing his licenced revolver and Rs.5,000 from his house, for which she was currently lodged in jail in Banda, 180 km from Lucknow.
Mayawati got into action only after the issue was raised by both state Congress chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi and Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav, who charged her with shielding criminals in her party.