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Cong leader in for more trouble, probe picks up speed in sex assault case

Congress leader Brajesh Pandey in his resignation letter has named the minor victim. This has attracted police attention and may land him in more trouble.

india Updated: Feb 22, 2017 21:06 IST
Avinash Kumar
Avinash Kumar
Hindustan Times, Patna
BPCC,Brajesh Pandey,Nikhil Priyadarshi
Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee office, in Patna. (Santosh Kumar/HT photo)

More trouble seemed to be brewing for beleaguered Congress leader Brajesh Pandey, allegedly involved in a sex racket, with the state police contemplating to lodge a fresh FIR against him for exposing the minor victim’s name in his resignation letter to the Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee (BPCC) chief on Tuesday.

Pandey, who had unsuccessfully contested from Govindganj constituency in East Champaran in 2015, has pleaded innocence in his resignation letter.

It may be mentioned the victim had demanded a probe by a senior police officer, apprehending that the case might be scuttled or diluted due to the involvement of politically well-connected people, including Pandey.

The Congress leader has been booked under the Protection of children against sexual offences Act (POCSO) on the basis of a supervision note by the deputy superintendent of police women’s cell of the CID, Mamta Kalyani.

Businessman Nikhil Priyadarshi, who is the prime accused in the alleged sex scandal, is absconding.

Priyadarshi, who deals in automobile, is the son of retired IAS officer, earlier booked in a loan default case. The girl who was allegedly assaulted is the daughter of a former Congress minister of the state.

“We have asked the Union home ministry to issue a red corner notice against Priyadarshi so that he does not manage to escape from the country,” said ADG (headquarter) Sunil Kumar. He also refuted reports that police had gone slow in the case so far due to political pressure.

“No, we have no pressure from any quarter. We are also gathering more evidence on the alleged involvement of Pandey in the sexual assault of the minor,” he said.

When asked whether DGP, PK Thakur’s son was involved in the assault case, the ADG said, “Investigations so far have not indicated any such involvement of the DGP’s son in the case. But we are probing all angles. If the name of any particular IPS officer figures in the case, we will look into it,” he said. The victim had said in her complaint that Priyadarshi used to threaten her using the name of the DGP’s son, though she never met him.

Police investigations have, however, gained momentum in the past few days following high media publicity following revelation of Pandey’s involvement in the case.

Police sources said the supervision report of the case was sent for approval to the ADG (CID) on January 31, but the CID allegedly sat on it apparently due to pressure from powers that be, before finally forwarding it to the weaker section of the CID with ‘certain directions’ on Wednesday.

First Published: Feb 22, 2017 21:06 IST