LUCKNOW: A special POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offence) court on
Tuesday framed charges against Samajwadi Party leader and former minister Gayatri Prasad Prajapati and six of his aides, who are co-accused, in the gang-rape case of a woman corporator of Chitrakoot and molestation of her daughter.
The court fixed August 1 for recording of prosecution evidence. All the accused are in jail and they were produced in the court at the time of hearing under tight security.
The woman corporator, aged 35, of Chitrakoot had accused Prajapati and his aides of gang-raping her and sexually harassing her minor daughter at the official residence of the minister in Lucknow for two years continuously. She claimed to have approached different police stations to get a report of gang-rape and molestation lodged against the powerful minister but in vain.
Finally, the victim petitioned the Supreme Court, on the directions of which an FIR was lodged against Prajapati and his six aides in the case on February 18. Besides the minister, the other six accused include Ashok Tewari, Rupesh, Vikas Verma, Chandrapal, Amerandra Singh and Ashish Shukla.
While all the six accused were arrested one by one, the police, after a hunt of almost a month, rounded up Prajapati on March 15. The case against the former minister was registered under section 376-D (rape by two or more persons), 376 (rape), 511 (committing offences punishable with life imprisonment), 504
(intentional insult), 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Section 3/4 of POCSO (Protection of Children From Sexual Offence) Act in the Gautampalli police station in Lucknow on February 18. Prajapati was granted bail by a district court on April 25, though it was subsequently cancelled by the Allahabad High Court on a petition by the state government.