Congress demands BJP minister’s resignation over rape charges

New Delhi: The Congress on Friday demanded the resignation of Union Minister of State of Railways Rajen Gohain in a case of alleged rape. The party also urged the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to ensure the strictest action against him.

An FIR was filed against Gohain on August 2 on charges of alleged rape and sexual assault under Sections 417, 376 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code in Assam’s Nagaon, according to the Nagaon police.

Superintendent of Police, Sankar Brata Rai Medhi said, “One case was registered on Aug 2, after which we proceeded as per law, however, the victim later submitted a letter to the police stating that she did not want to go ahead with the case. But the police is taking all the required action as this is not a compoundable offence. In the meantime, on Aug 2 another case was registered by the son of Rajen Gohain, under sections 385, 506 IPC. We are also proceeding in the case according to the law. Gohain alleged that the victim’s husband had been blackmailing him and his son in relation to the matter.”

Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera, while addressing the media, came down heavily on the BJP for “failing the women of the country.” He said, “These are the same people who used provocative and emotionally charged slogans to woo the people of the country before 2014 (elections). And now, their cabinet ministers are being charged with sexual assault and rapes, yet the party maintains silence and action is hardly taken against those involved in such cases.”

Enlisting cases in which BJP leaders were allegedly involved, Khera mentioned alleged rape cases in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao district and Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua city. In Unno, BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Senger is the key accused in the alleged rape of a minor girl. In Kathua, BJP Ministers were found participating in a rally in support of those involved in an eight-year-old girl’s alleged rape.

Accusing the BJP of silence in the Muzaffarpur shelter home alleged rapes, Khera said that none of the BJP top ministers found time to even tweet on the issue. The BJP could have come down heavily on their alliance partner Nitish Kumar in Bihar, he added.

Khera said, “You stood with therapists, and now you are silent on the matter of the Muzaffarpur shelter home case, and on similar cases emerging from Pratapgarh and Deoria.” Even the resignation of Bihar Social Welfare Minister Manju Verma happened under media pressure, Khera added.

Khera’s comments came following Congress President Rahul Gandhi questioning Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s silence over incidents of alleged rapes in the BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Rahul Gandhi said, “The prime minister does not utter a word when girls are raped in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Now, even women across the country have begun to wonder why the Prime Minister is not speaking on the issue”. (ANI)