With Prajapati missing, close aide also accused in rape case surrenders

Chandrapal, one of the seven accused in the matter, has been taken into custody after he surrendered to authorities.

Uttar Pradesh police have come a bit close to detaining gangrape accused Gayatri Prajapati. Chandrapal, one of the seven accused in the matter, has been taken into custody after he surrendered to authorities.

Prajapati, a minister in the Akhilesh Yadav government, has been absconding for over a week. A non-bailable warrant is out against him and the Supreme Court today rejected his petition seeking a stay on his arrest.

The apex court, on whose orders an FIR was filed in the matter, asked Prajapati, is contesting the ongoing Uttar Pradesh Assembly election on his party's ticket from Amethi, to approach a lower court.

The case involves allegations that Prajapati raped a 16-year-old girl and her mother repeatedly over two years. Prajapati, whose passport has been impounded, allegedly also offered the mother a position in the state's ruling Samajwadi Party and sand mining contracts.

The Prajapati case has become a political issue with UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav facing fire from both rivals as well as the Uttar Pradesh governor.

The Bharatiya Janata Party, led by Narendra Modi, has particularly targeted the Samajwadi Party-Congress combine over the matter.

Meanwhile, Governor Ram Naik wrote to Akhilesh, questioning why Prajapati was still a minister in his government.

"A non-bailable warrant has been issued against Prajapati...Serious question of constitutional morality and dignity arise on his remaining in the cabinet", the governor wrote.

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Also read | Facing arrest for rape, absconding Uttar Pradesh minister Gayatri Prajapati gets no relief from Supreme Court