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

“When I called him, he said he is the son of a minister and nobody can harm him… He brags about his money and power and at the end says people won’t even know where I have disappeared to. The Bhanwari Devi case will be repeated.”

These phrases are a part of an FIR registered in Delhi by means of a 23-year-old lady who has accused Rohit Joshi, the son of Rajasthan Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) Minister Mahesh Joshi, of rape amongst different fees. The sufferer says she registered the case in Delhi as a result of she feared she would now not get justice in Congress-ruled Rajasthan, the place minister Joshi wields important affect, and stated that mates of the accused had been “defaming” her.

The parallels to the Bhanwari Devi case of a decade in the past and the lady’s references to it are threatening to explode into a significant controversy for the beleaguered Congress.

Mahesh Joshi is thought of as one of the most most-trusted loyalists of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. The proven fact that the FIR registered in opposition to Rohit will probably be investigated by means of the Delhi Police, which comes below the BJP executive on the Centre, could also be important.

Last 12 months, Joshi have been summoned by means of the Delhi Police within the telephone tapping case filed in opposition to Lokesh Sharma, OSD to Gehlot, on a criticism by means of Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat.

An auxiliary nurse and midwife, Bhanwari Devi, used to be killed in 2011, resulting in the arrest of then cupboard minister Mahipal Maderna and Congress MLA Malkhan Singh Bishnoi. Like Joshi, Maderna used to be the PHED minister, within the then (2008-2013) Gehlot executive. After the furore hit the headlines, Maderna, the son of stalwart Congress Jat chief Parasram Maderna, used to be sacked.

In October final 12 months, Maderna died of cancer. The trial within the case remains to be on in a decrease courtroom, with the statements of defence witnesses being recorded. Bishnoi is out on bail.

In the 2018 Assembly elections, the Congress had given tickets to the youngsters of each Maderna and Bishnoi, who each gained.

Shortly after the FIR used to be registered in opposition to his son in Delhi previous this month, Joshi instructed newshounds: “All my life I have stood with truth and justice, and I will continue to do that, whether in this case or some other. Police should do a fair and impartial investigation.” Joshi additionally alleged a “media trial” at the topic.

Incidentally, one of the most first to lift doubts over the impartiality of this sort of probe used to be the past due Maderna’s daughter and Congress MLA from Osian, Divya Maderna. “I have serious questions to DGP regarding police administration. Why the FIR was not registered by Rajasthan police? DGP must immediately direct… departmental inquiry against officers who refused to register FIR,” Divya Maderna tweeted on May 10, not easy safety for the alleged sufferer and her circle of relatives.

When the authentic care for of the Rajasthan Police responded to the tweet announcing they didn’t obtain any criticism, Divya Maderna posted that this used to be an “unreasonable” response. “… the officers who denied FIR will certainly not forward any such complaint either”.

Other Congress leaders have sprung to the management’s defence. Panchayati Raj and Rural Development Minister Ramesh Meena stated “anyone can level allegations”, and that it will have to be investigated how the “relationship” between the lady and Rohit Joshi had long past unsuitable.

In her FIR, the Jaipur-based lady has accused Rohit, who’s married with one kid, of raping her on a couple of events between January 8, 2021, and April 17 this 12 months. The FIR talks of intoxicating medicine, miscarriage, abduction for compelling her into marriage, unnatural offences, felony intimidation and molestation.

Rohit’s Facebook web page describes him as a member of the Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee. He steadily excursions the Hawa Mahal constituency which is his father’s Assembly seat and takes phase in social occasions. After the FIR used to be lodged in opposition to him, Rohit in a Facebook put up appealed to other folks not to put up the rest on social media associated with the case, and stated that the general public who know him know “the reality and truth of the case”.

The Hanuman Beniwal-led Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP), which has 3 seats within the 200-member Rajasthan Assembly and is attempting to emerge as a 3rd power within the state, has in the meantime focused former best friend BJP over the problem.

The MP from Nagaur, Beniwal alleged that the BJP used to be maintaining “quiet” as a result of its leaders had joined arms with Minister Joshi to put in the BJP’s zila pramukh and Congress’s up-zila pramukh within the Jaipur zila parishad elections.

The BJP seems to be seeking to dispel that influence now. A minority wing of the birthday celebration lately burned an effigy of Joshi in Jaipur and demanded his resignation. BJP state leader Satish Poonia instructed newshounds: “The character of the Rajasthan government is out in the public. If such serious allegations are levelled against their MLAs, sons of their ministers, the Chief Minister should think in which direction he is taking Rajasthan.”

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