Gayatri Prajapati rape case: Victim's lawyer says "witnesses are being threatened"

Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], Mar. 5 (ANI): M. Pracha, the victim's lawyer in the case involving rape-accused Uttar Pradesh Minister Gayatri Prajapati, on Sunday said his main concern is that his client's family and witnesses are being threatened.

"I am not concerned about the passport or arrest (of Prajapati), my concern is that the victim's family and witnesses are being threatened," he told ANI.

The lawyer's assertion came a day after the Uttar Pradesh Police issued non-bailable warrants against Prajapati and six others in connection with the charges of rape against him.

Prajapati's passport has been revoked for four weeks to prevent the absconding minister from attempting to flee the country.

Earlier on Friday, the police initiated proceedings for a look out notice against Prajapati following reports that he may try to escape abroad to evade arrest.

Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik has written a letter to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav seeking his stand on the continuation of Prajapati in the Cabinet after filing the FIR against the latter for his alleged involvement in a sexual harassment case.

In his letter, Naik has said that after issuance of non bailable warrant against the booked Minister by the court, his continuation in the Cabinet is against the constitutional ethics and norms of the democracy.

Referring to media reports in this regard, Naik has said that Prajapati is facing serious charge of sexual exploitation of a women and her minor daughter and his passport has been suspended for four weeks by the government.

Earlier on February 20, Prajapati moved the Supreme Court against its order of registering an FIR against him in connection with a gang-rape and sexual harassment case.

Prajapati also sought protection from arrest and recall of the apex court's earlier order.

The apex court had earlier directed the Uttar Pradesh Police to file a status report in the case within a period of eight weeks.

A 35-year-old woman had accused Prajapati of raping her when she met him three years ago.

He is also accused of taking obscene photos of the victim and threatening her to make the photos public and raping her for the past two years.

However, Prajapati claimed it to be a conspiracy of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in order to distract people's attention from the assembly polls.

"It is a conspiracy against me. I don't even know who the lady is. Since the government has ordered such probe, I would accept it gladly," Prajapati told ANI.

The woman, who hails from Chitrakoot, alleged that she was raped by Prajapati and others for two years on the pretext of getting a position within the Samajwadi Party.

Earlier, the woman had moved the apex court after the Uttar Pradesh Police did not register the FIR, following which the men in uniform were ordered to file a status report in the matter within eight weeks. (ANI)