A BJP leader in Maharashtra's Chandrapur district was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly raping a 19-year-old woman on a bus on 27 June. The complainant also alleged that the politician had promised to marry her and get her a job.
According to reports, a video of Ravindra Bawanthade - a school teacher and BJP's Gadchiroli district general secretary - forcibly trying to kiss a woman in a bus went viral across the state. A rape case has now been lodged against the accused.
Reports suggest the incident occurred when the BJP leader and the complainant were on their way back from Nagpur to Gadchiroli in a bus. The instance, where Bawanthade could be seen forcibly kissing the woman in the presence of other passengers, was recorded in the CCTV camera fitted at the rear end of the bus.
However, according to the Times of India report, this was not the first time when Bawanthade had forced himself upon the survivor. As per the FIR, the leader had earlier tried to molest the woman in his car.
The BJP leader has been booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including 376 for the offence of rape.
"Police had sought for four days of custody for Ravindra but granted two days by the court. The three arrested on Tuesday would be produced before court on Wednesday," PI BD Madavi of Nagbhid police station reportedly said.
However, Gadchiroli Lok Sabha member and senior BJP leader Ashok Nete claimed that Bawanthade was not a member of the party anymore.
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