LUCKNOW -- In the first major headway in the case pertaining to rape-accused absconding Uttar Pradesh minister Gayatri Prajapati, police on Monday arrested his gunner Chandrapal Singh.
"Chandrapal (Prajapati's PSO) was arrested near Police Lines here," Additional Superintendent of Police (East) Shivram Yadav told PTI.
"We are interrogating Chandrapal and trying to extract information and whereabouts about rest of the minister's accomplices. The police is also conducting raids at locations revealed by the arrested gunner," he said.
He added Chandrapal will be produced before court on Tuesday.
ADG (Law and Order) Daljit Chaudhary said efforts have been intensified to track down the minister against whom a non-bailable warrant has been issued.
"UP Police Special Task Force has been roped in to trace the elusive minister," he said.
The continuance of Prajapati as a minister has raised serious questions of "constitutional morality and dignity," with Governor Ram Naik writing a letter to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, seeking to know if he "justifies" having the tainted minister in his Cabinet.
Prajapati's passport has already been impounded and a look-out notice issued against him. The UP Police had already asked the Ministry of External Affairs to cancel Prajapati's passport.
Prajapati was booked on Supreme Court directive and the case pertains to alleged gangrape of a woman and attempt to rape her minor of daughter.
Chandrapal, when approached by mediapersons, said, "False allegations have been levelled against me. I went to Police Lines to voluntarily deposit my service pistol. I was arrested there. I was told my name is there in the FIR."
He clarified that he was not absconding or hiding along with the minister. "I did not even have any telephonic conversation with him (Prajapati)," he said.
Asked whether he was involved in the gangrape, he said, "The victim is lying. I perform my duty. I was with Prajapati till 27 February and have no clue about him after that day.
Earlier in the day, Prajapati failed to get relief from the Supreme Court which expressed unhappiness that its order on lodging of FIR against the SP leader was being given "political colour".
Also on HuffPost India