|Babulal Nagar, former Food minister of Rajasthan (Pic: NDTV)|
Friday, October 25, 2013
India arrests ex-Rajasthan minister for alleged rape
NEW DELHI (AA) –India’s federal investigating agency on Friday arrested former top official Babulal Nagar for allegedly raping and beating a 35-year-old woman last month at his official residence in the historic city of Jaipur.
Earlier in the day, the CBI grilled Nagar -- who once served as minister of state for dairy and rural industries (food) in the western Rajasthan State -- at a government rest house before formally arresting him.
Talking to reporters before entering the rest house, Nagar said he had given a statement to the CBI in writing in which he had denied the charges leveled against him.
Rajasthan police summoned Nagar for allegedly raping and beating the victim on September 11 after calling her to his official residence in state capital Jaipur, luring her with promises of employment.
The victim filed a lawsuit five days later, forcing the official to tender his resignation after charges were officially brought against him.
"This is my reply to those who have apprehended that as a minister I can influence [the ongoing] investigation," he said.
"I am being framed in a political conspiracy," he asserted. "Through media reports I was told that a woman has alleged that on September 11 she was called by me at my official residence."
He added: "Let me tell you that my house was full of people on that day on which the woman alleged that she was raped."
Nagar also stressed that the ruling Congress Party should not be implicated in the case.
The Congress Party, for its part, has already suspended Nagar's membership until his name is cleared of the allegations.
The case is the second such embarrassment in as many years for the ruling party, which is currently preparing to contest state polls in November.
In 2011, Congress State Cabinet Minister Mahipal Maderna and Congress legislator Malkhan Singh Bishnoi were both accused of the rape and murder of a government nurse.
The case is still being heard in court, while the two accused men remain in police custody.