Chronicle Reporter, Bhind
Madhya Pradesh Congress MLA Hemant Katare was booked on charges of rape, abduction and others by police on Friday. This came after a complaint was filed by a 21-year old journalism student, currently lodged in Bhopal Central Jail for allegedly extorting money from Katare.
The journalism student was arrested on 24 January for trying to extort money from the Ater (Bhind) MLA. The police, however, did not arrest the MLA, hinting that his arrest would be pondered over after the inquiry.
Katare has alleged that the girl was blackmailing him by threatening to frame him in false cases. Police had recovered Rs 5 lakh from the girl at the time of the arrest.
The woman, in her complaint, accused Katare of colluding with ASP Crime Rashmi Mishra to frame her in the extortion case in which she was arrested. She alleged that it was in crime branch custody that she was made to shoot the video in which she called the MLA innocent.
“Acting upon the complaint, we have registered case of rape, unlawful confinement and criminal intimidation against the accused under sections 342, 376 (1) and 376 (2),” said Mahila thana in charge, Shikha Singh Bais. Another case was registered against Kartare on the complaint of the girl’s mother, who has accused him of getting her abducted on January 27, forcefully getting some papers signed and forcing her to give a statement saying Katare was innocent on video at gunpoint.
Congress leaders including state unit chief Arun Yadav, Ajay Singh, Manak Agrawal and others jumped into the defence of the young MLA, son of former leader of opposition Satyadev Katare, calling this a political conspiracy.
Leader of Opposition, Ajay Singh criticized, the police action and asked Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan for a high level probe into the matter. He also asked how could a case be registered against Katare 10 days after the girl was arrested on his complaint.
Nandkumar Singh Chauhan, president of the BJP’s state unit, termed the allegations as serious and sought thorough probe. “People get clicked with the BJP leaders but we have nothing to do with the case,” he said.
The girl’s associate, Vikramjeet Singh, is said to be close to several BJP leaders and is still on the run. There are photographs of him with several BJP leaders of the state. Katare is said to be close to Jyotiraditya Scindia.Half a dozen videos including those from the girl, Singh and girl’s mother have already surfaced on the social media.