A widely reported sexual harassment case in Bihar, involving Bihar’s leading automobile dealer, Nikhil Priyadarshi, has taken a new turn.
The victim, who is a minor and daughter of a former Congress minister, has alleged afresh, during the ongoing investigation, that a senior Congress leader, Brijesh Pandey was also involved in outraging her modesty. The statement has been recorded by the police handling the case and registered as a case involving atrocities against scheduled castes and tribes .
Priyadarshi, a young entrepreneur had set up the biggest car and SUV showroom in Asia on the outskirts of Patna and turned a multi-millionaire in the matter of just about two years and turned a socialite, rubbing shoulders with the powerful of the land, including politicians, bureaucrats, police officials and media men.
The victim, in her statement before the police last week, alleged that Priyadarshi had taken her to a flat located in Boring Road area of the state capital in August 2016, where she was served an intoxicant laced drink.
When she felt nauseated and was in a stated of semi-consciousness, Pandey appeared from nowhere and molested her. But he left after she started vomiting under the impact of the drug-laced drink, a police official quoted the girl as having stated in her complaint. The officer did not want to be quoted.
The police, who are investigating the case, is learnt to have launched a manhunt for Pandey after they allegedly hit upon the case’s link with a larger racket in trafficking of minor girls and women, involving many senior officers and some political leaders of the state and outside.
“Absconding Pandey, a functionary of Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee (BPCC), was part of the racket that supplied girls, including minors to high-profile people and forcing victims into the flesh trade,” said a senior police officer investigating the case, adding, “His name is now on the supervision records”.
The recording of the latest statement of the victim has created a furore in the bureaucracy and in political circles. Officials probing the matter confessed to pressure from high-ups to ‘go slow until the case got transferred to other wings like CID, from the present POCSO court, he added.
Police sources confided that their investigation also hinted at the involvement of a Congress minister and a top Youth Congress leader. “We have secured evidence of their involvement too and are verifying details”, added an investigating officer.
When contacted, IG for weaker sections cell, Anil Kishore Yadav said he DSP of Women’s Cell, Mamata Kalyani, who supervised the case, found the allegations levelled by girl true.