LJP leader Prince Raj (HT file photo)
LJP leader Prince Raj (HT file photo)

Delhi Police file FIR against LJP MP Prince Raj in rape case

Prince Raj is the cousin of LJP leader Chirag Paswan who, according to police, was also named in the first information report (FIR) for allegedly trying to delay police action in the case.
By HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON SEP 15, 2021 12:46 AM IST

Delhi Police on Tuesday said it had registered a rape case against Lok Janshakti Party MP Prince Raj, prompting the lawmaker to move court for anticipatory bail alleging that he had been blackmailed by the complainant.

Raj is the cousin of LJP leader Chirag Paswan who, according to police, was also named in the first information report (FIR) for allegedly trying to delay police action in the case. No arrest has been made so far in connection with the case.

The case under sections 376 (rape), 506 (criminal intimidation), 120b (criminal conspiracy) and 201 (destruction of evidence) against the Samastipur legislator was filed on September 9 following directions of a Delhi court and almost three months after the survivor, a party worker, lodged a complaint at Connaught Place police station, police said.

The survivor had approached the court in July, seeking its intervention in directing the police to register the FIR against the Bihar Parliamentarian and Paswan, a senior officer said on condition of anonymity.

“The case against the LJP’s Samastipur MP has been registered on the court’s directions. Chirag Paswan has also been named in it. Both cases are under investigation,” the officer said.

Raj, who is in Ladakh with a Parliamentary delegation, could not be contacted for a comment.

LJP spokesperson Shravan Kumar defended Raj, claiming that the allegations against him are a “political conspiracy” to malign him, and suggested it could be a case of “honey trapping”, news agency PTI reported.

On Tuesday, Raj filed an anticipatory bail application which is likely to come up for hearing before special judge M K Nagpal on Thursday. The application, moved by advocate Nitesh Rana, claimed that the survivor and a friend of hers were extorting money and blackmailing Raj, and a case had already been filed in that regard in February, in which the woman and her associate were granted anticipatory bail.

Speaking on behalf of Jamui MP Paswan, LJP spokesperson Ashraf Ansari said the FIR had mentioned only a line on Paswan. “In fact, the matter was first brought before him on January 8, and he immediately referred it to the party’s disciplinary committee. The president also called both the parties on January 15 and after listening to them, advised both to lodge a police complaint. Senior family member and Hajipur MP Pashupati Paras was also briefed about the matter,” Ashraf said.

“Since the matter is with the police, we will cooperate with the probe,” he added.

Paswan and Raj are estranged now with the latter joining the party faction headed by their uncle and Union minister Pashupati Kumar Paras.

In her complaint, the officer cited above said, the survivor accused Raj of raping her by promising to marry her last year. When she confronted him, he allegedly threatened her, the officer added.

After the woman’s complaint against Raj went public in June, Paswan, who was removed as party chief amid a family feud, had shared a letter dated March 29, 2021 on Twitter, wherein he sought Paras’ attention to the rape allegations against his cousin.

Paswan alleged that the survivor was blackmailing Raj and when he did not get a response from his uncle, he advised his cousin to approach the police on the matter.

Raj, on June 17, had also tweeted a statement, denying the allegations of “a certain woman making defamatory statements”.

“I categorically deny any such claim or assertion that has been made against me. All such claims are blatantly false, fabricated, and are part of a larger criminal conspiracy to pressurise me professionally and personally by threatening my reputation,” the statement read.

“The reported matter concerning MP Prince Raj is very sensitive and law will take its own course. As the matter is socially sensitive, there should be no personal or political statement on the issue,” BJP spokesperson Dr Nikhil Anand said.

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