A former employee of Sudarshan News Network has accused the owner and editor-in-chief Suresh Chavhanke of rape, molestation and criminal intimidation and self proclaimed godman Asaram Bapu’s son, Narain Sai, of attempt to rape and molestation.
Chavhanke has been booked by the Noida police under 11 sections of the IPC including charges of rape, unnatural sex attempt, attempt to murder, forced miscarriage, criminal intimidation, cheating and insulting the modesty of a woman. Narain Sai faces charges of attempt to rape and molestation.
The FIR was registered at the Women Police station in Noida Sector 39 on November 2. The victim, aged between 35-40, has alleged that Chavhanke was exploiting her since 2013 under the pretext of marriage.
Narain Sai is currently lodged in Surat jail. When HT contact Sai’s ashram, they refused comment on the case. Chavhanke was not available for comment despite repeated attempts to contact him on phone.
In his defence, Chavhanke posted a picture of the FIR on Twitter along with a comment: “The number of sections lodged against me is bigger than that of Dawood”.
According to the FIR, the victim accused Chavhanke of raping her and attempting unnatural sex with her on October 20 at his news network office.
“We have registered the FIR and have conducted the medical examination of the victim. After preliminary investigation, we will decide on when to arrest Chavhanke,” said Anju Tevatia, officer in charge, Women Police Station.
According to the police, the victim, a resident of Delhi, said she got in touch with Chavhanke in 2011 when he offered her a job in the Human Resources Department of Sudarshan News Network.
“After getting divorced, I was desperate for a job, it was then that Chavhanke offered me a senior position in the HR department of his news channel,” the victim said in her complaint.
The victim further alleged that Chavhanke asked for cash and jewellery worth ₹27 lakh from her in 2013 in exchange of making her a partner in the news network. She further alleged that it was after she paid the amount that Chavhanke started forcing himself upon her under the pretext of marriage.
The victim also alleged that Chavhanke sent her to the ‘ashram’ of Narain Sai in Karol Bagh, New Delhi, in September, 2013. There Narain attempted to rape her, she alleged.
The victim further claimed that she was physically and mentally tortured by Chavhanke from 2014 to 2016.
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Dharmendra Singh said the police have started investigating the complaint.
“The FIR was lodged two days ago and the police has promptly started the investigation. Future course of action will be decided once more details emerge,” Singh said.