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Maharashtra BJP leader arrested on rape charges: 4 more held

Mumbai city news: The incident came to light when the video, showing BJP leader Ravindra Bawanthade forcing himself on a young woman went viral.

mumbai Updated: Jul 06, 2017 14:56 IST
Pradip Kumar Maitra
Pradip Kumar Maitra
Hindustan Times
Mumbai city news,BJP leader,rape

The Gadchiroli police have arrested the bus driver, conductor, cleaner and an additional driver of the luxury bus in which a senior BJP leader was travelling with an unmarried girl. He allegedly raped her in the moving bus.

The police said that the bus workers were arrested for uploading the video on social media. They were identified as: the bus driver Sarangdhar Ramteke, 30, conductor Rakesh Khobragade, 20, the additional bus driver Machhindra Sahare, 29, and the cleaner Ankush Randive, who switched on the CCTV camera installed in the bus and later uploaded the video on his mobile phone, and circulated it on social media.

The incident came to light when the video, showing BJP leader Ravindra Bawanthade forcing himself on a young woman went viral. Bawanthade, who is the general secretary of Gadchiroli unit of BJP, had gone underground after the video surfaced. He was later arrested from Bramhapuri in neighbouring Chandrapur district on Tuesday morning.

Read: Maharashtra BJP leader arrested on rape charges; video of him kissing woman on bus goes viral

Both Bawanthade, 50, and the woman, 20, were travelling from Nagpur to Nagbhid in an ARB Travels bus on June 27. The footage from the CCTV installed in the bus shows the leader kissing and forcing himself upon her in the presence of other passengers.

The victim in her complaint alleged that Bawanthade had promised to help her get a job and marry her. Bawanthade is already married, and is a school teacher. The girl, an ex-student of Bawantahde said that since she was poor, and needed support from a senior politician of the ruling party, like him. “But he took advantage of my situation and misbehaved with me. Now that the video has gone viral, I’m very worried,” she said.

As per the FIR, this is the second time that Bawanthade had forced on the survivor in a vehicle. She has claimed before police that he had earlier forced himself on her in his car on the way to Nagbhid from Nagpur. In the latest incident, the survivor was lured to come along with him to the city after Ravindra promised her job in a nursing home in Nagpur.

Banwanthade is still in police custody for further interrogation.

First Published: Jul 06, 2017 14:56 IST