BJP today accused Akhilesh Yadav of hiding rape accused minister Gayatri Prajapati at his residence and said the chief minister had become a “patron” of criminals in the state. “The chief minister has hidden Gayatri Prajapati in his residence and the police is enacting the drama of carrying out raids to arrest him,” state unit president of the BJP Keshav Prasad Maurya claimed here.
“Can Akhilesh take a pledge in the name of the mother Ganga that Gayatri has not been kept at the CM’s residence…if the Chief Minister really wants, Prajapati can be caught in ten minutes,” he said.
The BJP leader alleged that Akhilesh had become a patron of big criminals in the state, adding that CM house should not be allowed to become a “haven for criminals”.
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Senior BJP leader Vijay Bahadur Pathak also charged the chief minister with campaigning for the gangrape accused and describing him as a capable leader before people. Besides, another minister Azam Khan had described the rape case as a conspiracy, he said.
“…such an attitude encourages people with criminal mentality. They show scant regard for women’s safety and blatantly indulge in henious crimes,” Pathak said.
Prajapati is accused in separate cases of gangrape and an attempt to rape another woman and her minor daughter. He has remained elusive and the Lucknow Police have initated steps to withdraw his ‘Y’ category security.
Acting on the Supreme Court’s orders, police said they have been making efforts to nab him and they might even apply for cancellation of his passport so that the minister cannot escape from the country.
Interestingly though, the minister was seen moving freely from one place to other in his constituency seeking votes.
The last time Prajapati was seen in public was on February 27, when he spoke to the media saying he will win with a huge margin and will work under Akhilesh once again.
The 49-year-old is facing imminent arrest following an FIR lodged against him and six of his accomplices on the apex court’s order at Gautampalli police station in the state capital on February 18 under various sections of the IPC and POCSO Act.