More than a fortnight after the sensational incident of rape of a minor Nalanda girl surfaced, the police on Thursday nabbed four accused — all women, suspected to have taken the girl to the main accused, RJD legislator Raj Ballabh Yadav’s house and named in the FIR. However, the legislator still remained at large.
Three women — Sulekha Devi, her mother Radha Devi and daughter Chhoti Devi — were arrested from the house of their distant relative Moti Ram in village Khaddi under Hilsa police station of Nalanda.
After their interrogation, the police also picked up the fourth woman, Tushi Devi, younger sister of Sulekha Devi.
Tushi Devi also lived at her sister’s place located at Professor Colony (Gadhpar) under Bihar police station in Nalanda.
“The women, wanted in the case and evading arrest despite court’s proclamation order served at their residence, are suspected to have played a big role in luring the minor girl to accompany them to the legislator’s house,” said Nalanda SP Kumar Ashish.
The police had also detained Nawada district RJD chief Mahendra Yadav and were interrogating him, the SP added.
Police sources said that the women were seemingly involved in trafficking of girls for several years. Before luring the girl, Tushi screened the school girl and finalised the ‘deal’ for sending her to MLA’s house.
Sulekha and her mother Radha, along with victim, reached the MLA’s residence-cum-party office where Yadav allegedly raped the girl on February 6. The police were keeping surveillance on a mobile number of one Sanjay, who was constantly in touch with Sulekha.
Thereafter, the police detained Sanjay, who disclosed the name of Saroj, which led to arrested the four women.
The SP said during interrogation, the four women corroborated the charges levelled against them in the FIR, lodged by the victim girl. Moti Ram told the police that he was not in the know of the crime they were involved in and had stayed with him since February 10 last.
“We are also interrogating Mahendra Yadav, as he had said a few days ago that Raj Ballabh Yadav would surrender on February 18, which did not happen. We want to know if he has any further information regarding the absconding MLA,” he added.
Chief minister Nitish Kumar had expressed surprise over Mahendra Yadav’s statement during a crime review meeting. “How come the police remain in the dark about the whereabouts of the MLA, while one person talks openly about his future moves,” he had said.
The SP said three arms licences issued in the name of Raj Ballabh Yadav had been detected. “We have recommended for their cancellation to the Nawada district magistrate. We have also got details of property owned by the absconding MLA,” he added.
The SP said that the police would move court on Friday for attachment of the legislator’s property. Despite serving the court’s proclamation order at the residences of the legislator, he has not yet surfaced.
With the high profile case hitting the headlines and the house session also on, DIG (central range) Shalin has also been camping in Nalanda since Wednesday evening. He was also involved in the interrogation of the women.
The DIG along with divisional commissioner (DC) Anand Kishor, Nalanda DM and SP visited the victim’s house on Thursday and took stock of the security of the family members. The DC gave a Rs 1 lakh cheque to the victim.