Youth Cong leader suspended for blackmailing official

Youth Congress General Secretary Ritu Khandiyal was suspended on Monday from her post for her alleged involvement in blackmailing an Uttarakhand government official, who has been accused of rape, even as police are trying to contact her.

A 29-year-old woman had lodged a complaint on November 25 in Delhi saying on the pretext of giving her a job in the tourism department, Uttarakhand Additional Secretary (Home) J P Joshi had called her to a room in the Police Lines Officers' Club in Nainital and allegedly raped her.

In a counter move, Joshi filed an FIR against the woman and two others, Sanjay and M P Singh, alleging that they blackmailed and threatened him demanding money.

According to statements by the two, Ritu allegedly had offered to mediate between the official and the woman to settle the matter.

“Ritu Khandiyal is for the time being suspended from her post for her invovlement in the sex episode, on the recommendation of National President Rajeev Satav,” Pradesh Youth Congress President Bhuvan Khapdi said in a statement.

According to the police investigations, Ritu had called up Joshi and said the woman and her accomplices were asking for Rs  3 crore to settle the matter.

Ritu had left for Dubai a few days before the woman filed her complaint and police are trying to contact her to question her although all her phones are switched off, the police said.

The woman and an accomplice were arrested on Friday, two days after Joshi’s arrest.

However, as the woman was on transit bail, she was released after payment of Rs 25,000 bond.

Joshi is still in custody and he has applied for bail.

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