Mohali councillor held for rape
Jaipur police arrest Congress leader in a late-night raid in Mohali
The Rajasthan police arrested Congress councillor Surinder Singh Rajput on the charge of rape during a late night raid in Mohali on Sunday.
Belonging to Himachal Pradesh, Rajput resides in Sector 70 and represents it (ward number 45) in the Mohali municipal corporation’s General House. He also owns a shop in the sector and works as a property dealer.
Rajput is accused of raping a woman, who resides in the same sector, and blackmailing her for more than two years. A case under Section 376 (rape) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) was registered at the Jaipur police station on the woman’s complaint.
“A team from Jaipur had come to Mohali and arrested the Congress councillor,” said Rajiv Kumar, station house officer (SHO), Mataur, Mohali.
According to the complaint, the victim came into contact with the accused — the area councillor — in February 2017 in connection with preparing her Aadhaar card.
Later, the victim’s husband — who is a transporter — was booked in a drugs case after the driver of one of his trucks was caught carrying poppy husk in Rajasthan.
Rajput reportedly offered to help her in getting her husband out on bail, claiming that he had links in Jaipur, and asked her to accompany him there.
The woman reportedly booked train tickets to Jaipur, as told by Rajput, and the two reached there past midnight on July 1, 2017. The councillor took her to a hotel to spend the night, where he allegedly gave her some medicine to treat her headache. Later, the woman fell unconscious and was allegedly raped.
The woman alleged that the accused had been blackmailing her on the basis of an obscene video that he had recorded that night and kept sexually exploiting her for the past two years.
The victim in her complaint alleged that on February 4, 2020, she along with her husband had approached the Mataur police station with complaint of rape against Rajput. However, the police allegedly refused to register an FIR over the jurisdiction dispute and asked her to approach the Jaipur police.
The fact is that there is a provision of registering a zero FIR in cases of crime against women. Later, investigation can be handed over to the police station concerned.
“I don’t know whether the victim had approached the local police or not. I will get it checked,” said Mohali senior superintendent of police (SSP) Kuldeep Singh Chahal. “A team of Jaipur police had got in touch with us, stating that a case has been registered against Rajput. He was arrested with help of the Mohali police.”
“If Rajput is convicted, the party will take disciplinary action against him,” said Deepinder Singh Dhillon, who was the president of Mohali district’s Congress committee, which was dissolved recently.
“I am not aware of the case. If anyone, be it from any party, has done anything wrong, he or she should be punished as per law,” said Punjab cabinet minister and Mohali MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu.
Rajput is not new to controversies. In February 2012, he was booked for using casteist remarks against Shamsher Singh Purkhalvi, a Dalit leader and his neighbour. Even Purkhalvi was booked on Rajput’s complaint for opening fire after an argument over a pet dog.