MLA accused in Banda rape case arrested

LUCKNOW: Absconding ruling BSP MLA Purushottam Naresh Dwivedi, who allegedly raped a teenaged dalit girl, was today arrested in Banda district, police sources said.

Dwivedi, who represents Naraini seat in UP Assembly, was on the run after orders for his arrest were issued yesterday in connection with the alleged criminal assault on the 17-year-old girl belonging to the backward community.

After the incident, the girl had been arrested on theft charges last month following a complaint by the MLA.

The legislator, who is in his 40s, was arrested in Banda, about 220 kms from here.

In Lucknow, Cabinet Secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh, when faced with a volley of questions from reporters on the whereabouts of the MLA, hinted that the legislator had been traced.

"There will be no need for you to ask this question. Give us a little more time," he said.

A case of rape had been registered against the MLA, who was suspended by the party in the wake of the allegations, and his three aides in the case.

The two aides –Rajendra Shukla and Surendra Neta– were arrested in Banda district yesterday following an FIR against them. The third accused Ravan Garg is still absconding and raids were being carried out to arrest him.

Soon after the state CB-CID submitted its preliminary report in the case yesterday, the Mayawati government ordered registration of an FIR against them.

"On the directive of the Chief Minister, a case of rape has been registered against the MLA and his three aides," the Cabinet Secretary said.

He, however, said the theft charge on which the girl was arrested was found to be true.

"But we are not giving clean chit to anyone including the policemen. Stern action will be taken against all those found guilty," he said.(PTI)

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