Madhya Pradesh: After video war, Congress MLA booked for rape
The case was registered on Friday on a complaint by a 21-year-old girl who is now in judicial custody for allegedly trying to blackmail Hemant Katare.Updated: Feb 02, 2018 10:17 IST
Congress MLA Hemant Katare has been booked for rape, illegal confinement and other charges after a series of videos of allegations and counter allegations hit social media in Madhya Pradesh.
The case was registered on Friday on a complaint by a 21-year-old girl who is now in judicial custody for allegedly trying to blackmail Katare.
DIG Dharmendra Chaudhary said the girl filed the complaint on Thursday night at the women’s police station. “We have registered the case. The MLA has not been arrested. We will do so when necessary.”
Katare, who is MLA from Ater, Bhind, was called to the crime branch office on Thursday night following which his mobile was seized as evidence.
The case has been in the limelight over the past fortnight because of a series of videos that have gone viral on social media. In the videos, the girl and her accomplice, Vikramjit who is still at large, have accused Katare of sexually exploiting her.
Katare too had released a video in which he defended himself.
Police sources said that on January 24, Katare complained that a girl was threatening to frame him in a false rape and attempted suicide case and demanding Rs 2 crore from him for keeping quiet. Katare told police that the girl had later settled for Rs 25 lakhs and he was supposed to pay the first instalment of Rs 5 lakh to the girl that day.
The crime branch swung into action and arrested the girl, a journalism student from the Rachna Nagar area of the city soon after she collected the money from Katare.
The MLA told police that he had met the girl only a couple of times in the last six months, and that too, during public functions. She had wanted him to invest in some ventures which he refused, and subsequently she started threatening him.
In his complaint, Katare said he had received a video from the girl on January 19 in which she made several ‘false’ allegations against him and threatened to ruin his personal and public life. Later, she sent an emissary who demanded Rs 2 crore from him to ‘settle’ the matter.
Soon after the girl’s arrest, another video surfaced in which the girl was seen accusing the MLA of exploiting her. She also claimed that she had a chat and audio clips to prove her point. The MLA countered the allegations with a video of his own, in which he rebutted all the charges levelled against him.
Then another video surfaced in which the girl is seen retracting all the allegations she made against the MLA, saying it was ‘joke’ and asked for forgiveness.
Subsequently other videos started surfacing on the girl’s behalf in which it was alleged that the crime branch was favouring the MLA and she had been coerced into make the video retracting her allegations.
The MLA could not be contacted immediately.
Earlier, he had accused the BJP “because they lost the polls and I am the son of late Satyadeo Katare, the former leader of the opposition”.
“The other accused in the case, Vikramjit Singh is BJP worker who is absconding and releasing false videos damaging my reputation. It has been a week and police have failed to nab him. Is the police so incompetent that they cannot nab one person?” the MLA asked.
A slightly defensive BJP does not deny that Vikramjit is their party worker. Party spokesperson Deepak Vijayvargiya said, “All we want is that there should be a fair investigation and the police should not work under anyone’s influence.”