TDP MLA's arrest likely in rape case

TDP MLA's arrest likely in rape case

The West Godavari district police have indicted him saying he is guilty of outraging the modesty of girl students hailing from Kerala.

West Godavari Superintendent of Police B Balakrishna submitted a report to the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) here which had sought his response following a complaint lodged by the victims last week. SHRC chairman Justice Subhashan Reddy told the media that, according to the report, the girls did not initially reveal the acts of the MLA against them out of fear.

However, police investigation revealed that Rao was liable to be booked under Section 354 of the Indian Penal Code (assault or criminal force on woman with intent to outrage her modesty). The CID is investigating a complaint on an alleged murder of a student in the college against the MLA as blood stains were found in his office. The police told the SHRC that the forensic test by a lab in Vijayawada did not confirm blood stains in support of the charge of murder, but a second opinion was being obtained from the AP State Forensic Science Laboratory.

However, with no body being found or any complaint of any missing student in the college, the TDP has alleged that the government was harassing the MLA on false charges. The MLA along with his children went on a protest hunger strike two weeks ago here even as TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu defended his party colleague.

Soon five students of the college took up the issue with the Kerala government which approached the AP government. The students met the AP home minister, the chief minister and the governor seeking action against the MLA and protection to their life as they were receiving death threats. The state government has given admission to the girls in a nursing college. However, TDP delegation led by Naidu met Andhra Pradesh Governor N D Tiwari and requested him to protect the fundamental rights of their MLA.

Vendetta alleged

The TDP delegation alleged that the MLA was falsely implicated in the case only out of “sheer political vendetta as he belonged to the Scheduled Castes.” Naidu has now warned against the MLA’s arrest and is likely to petition the president and the prime minister. He maintains that the Congress government had paid the nursing students to make charges of molestation against the MLA.

Initially, soon after a Congress leader of Nidadavole P David Kumar highlighted the issue of blood stains in the nursing college,  the district collector and the police declared at a press conference that there was no evidence of any rape or murder in Rama Rao’s college and that all the student nurses, include those from Kerala, were safe and secure.

However, within a week the government entrusted the case to the CID allegedly on the pressure of a TV channel and newspaper run by the CM’s son. The MLA alleged that the local reporter of the organisation demanded money from him and when he (the MLA) refused the same, the reporter took the issue to the media organisation’s management which took up the issue at the highest level of the government which promptly handed over the case to the CID.

According to police sources here, the MLA cannot escape from being arrested and jailed.
Quoting a Supreme Court ruling, they maintain the deposition of the girl victims was enough to arrest the MLA. Since molestation is a non-bailable offence, he has to be behind bars till the trial is completed. Rama Rao has applied for anticipatory bail but is not likely to get it.

DH News Service

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