Surat Police summons ex-Gujarat MLA Jayanti Bhanushali in rape case filed against him last week
Former Gujarat BJP MLA Jayanti Bhanushali has been asked to appear before a police team in connection with a rape case against him
Surat: Former Gujarat BJP MLA Jayanti Bhanushali has been asked to appear before a police team in connection with a rape case against him, a senior officer said on Monday. "We have issued summons to Bhanushali under section 160 of the CrPC in the rape case filed at the Sarthana police station in the city in which he is the accused," said Police Commissioner Satish Sharma. Summons issued under the section requires one to appear at the relevant police station to record statement.
Acting on a complaint filed by a 21-year-old woman, the police on 19 July had registered an FIR against Bhanushali under various sections of the IPC related to public servant committing rape, criminal intimidation, cheating, wrongful confinement and forgery, among others.
The summons, issued by DCP Leena Patil — heading the investigation into the case — directs the former lawmaker to immediately present himself before the Sarthana police. It was sent at Bhanushali's residence in Ahmedabad. The former MLA is required to appear before the police so that his statement is recorded and medical examination conducted as part of the investigation, police said. Bhanushali represented the Abdasa assembly segment in Kutch district from 2007 to 2012.
In the wake of the allegations, the 53-year-old leader had to step down from the post of Gujarat BJP vice-president. He had then described the allegations as baseless and said they were aimed at finishing his political career. The former MLA had also said he will not take up any post till his name is cleared in the case.
In her complaint, the woman has alleged that the accused raped her on several occasions between November 2017 and March 2018 on the promise of getting her admitted in a reputed fashion design institute. The first sexual assault was allegedly taped by one of Bhanushali's assistants and he raped her on several occasions by threatening to circulate the video, she alleged.
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