Rape FIR against Gehlot minister’s son; echoes get louder of a ‘Bhanwari repeat’

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“When I called him, helium said helium is the lad of a curate and cipher tin harm him… He brags astir his wealth and powerfulness and astatine the extremity says radical won’t adjacent cognize wherever I person disappeared to. The Bhanwari Devi lawsuit volition beryllium repeated.”

These words are portion of an FIR registered successful Delhi by a 23-year-old pistillate who has accused Rohit Joshi, the lad of Rajasthan Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) Minister Mahesh Joshi, of rape among different charges. The unfortunate says she registered the lawsuit successful Delhi due to the fact that she feared she would not get justness successful Congress-ruled Rajasthan, wherever curate Joshi wields important influence, and said that associates of the accused person been “defaming” her.

The parallels to the Bhanwari Devi lawsuit of a decennary agone and the woman’s references to it are threatening to stroke up into a large contention for the beleaguered Congress.

Mahesh Joshi is considered 1 of the most-trusted loyalists of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. The information that the FIR registered against Rohit volition beryllium investigated by the Delhi Police, which comes nether the BJP authorities astatine the Centre, is besides significant.

Last year, Joshi had been summoned by the Delhi Police successful the telephone tapping lawsuit filed against Lokesh Sharma, OSD to Gehlot, connected a ailment by Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat.

An auxiliary caregiver and midwife, Bhanwari Devi, was killed successful 2011, starring to the apprehension of past furniture curate Mahipal Maderna and Congress MLA Malkhan Singh Bishnoi. Like Joshi, Maderna was the PHED minister, successful the past (2008-2013) Gehlot government. After the furore deed the headlines, Maderna, the lad of stalwart Congress Jat person Parasram Maderna, was sacked.

In October past year, Maderna died of cancer. The proceedings successful the lawsuit is inactive connected successful a little court, with the statements of defence witnesses being recorded. Bishnoi is retired connected bail.

In the 2018 Assembly elections, the Congress had fixed tickets to the children of some Maderna and Bishnoi, who some won.

Shortly aft the FIR was registered against his lad successful Delhi earlier this month, Joshi told reporters: “All my beingness I person stood with information and justice, and I volition proceed to bash that, whether successful this lawsuit oregon immoderate other. Police should bash a just and impartial investigation.” Joshi besides alleged a “media trial” connected the matter.

Incidentally, 1 of the archetypal to rise doubts implicit the impartiality of specified a probe was the precocious Maderna’s girl and Congress MLA from Osian, Divya Maderna. “I person superior questions to DGP regarding constabulary administration. Why the FIR was not registered by Rajasthan police? DGP indispensable instantly direct… departmental enquiry against officers who refused to registry FIR,” Divya Maderna tweeted connected May 10, demanding information for the alleged unfortunate and her family.

When the authoritative grip of the Rajasthan Police replied to the tweet saying they didn’t person immoderate complaint, Divya Maderna posted that this was an “unreasonable” reaction. “… the officers who denied FIR volition surely not guardant immoderate specified ailment either”.

Other Congress leaders person sprung to the administration’s defence. Panchayati Raj and Rural Development Minister Ramesh Meena said “anyone tin level allegations”, and that it should beryllium investigated however the “relationship” betwixt the pistillate and Rohit Joshi had gone wrong.

In her FIR, the Jaipur-based pistillate has accused Rohit, who is joined with 1 child, of raping her connected aggregate occasions betwixt January 8, 2021, and April 17 this year. The FIR talks of intoxicating drugs, miscarriage, abduction for compelling her into marriage, unnatural offences, transgression intimidation and molestation.

Rohit’s Facebook leafage describes him arsenic a subordinate of the Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee. He regularly tours the Hawa Mahal constituency which is his father’s Assembly spot and takes portion successful societal events. After the FIR was lodged against him, Rohit successful a Facebook station appealed to radical to not station thing connected societal media related to the case, and said that astir radical who cognize him cognize “the world and information of the case”.

The Hanuman Beniwal-led Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP), which has 3 seats successful the 200-member Rajasthan Assembly and is trying to look arsenic a 3rd unit successful the state, has meantime targeted erstwhile state BJP implicit the issue.

The MP from Nagaur, Beniwal alleged that the BJP was keeping “quiet” due to the fact that its leaders had joined hands with Minister Joshi to instal the BJP’s zila pramukh and Congress’s up-zila pramukh successful the Jaipur zila parishad elections.

The BJP appears to beryllium trying to dispel that content now. A number helping of the enactment precocious burned an effigy of Joshi successful Jaipur and demanded his resignation. BJP authorities main Satish Poonia told reporters: “The quality of the Rajasthan authorities is retired successful the public. If specified superior allegations are levelled against their MLAs, sons of their ministers, the Chief Minister should deliberation successful which absorption helium is taking Rajasthan.”