Acting on Supreme Court orders, the Uttar Pradesh police on Tuesday searched the official residence of UP cabinet minister Gayatri Prasad Prajapati, who is the subject of a probe for his alleged role in a rape case but returned empty handed.
Manzil Saini, SSP,Lucknow to The Times of India The team we sent to Amethi Tuesday morning was told Prajapati had left for Lucknow. But he wasn’t available when we went to his bungalow.
"If he continues to dodge us, we'll look at other options," Saini said.
Prajapati is accused of gang-raping a woman and molesting her daughter, but the police filed a case only when the woman went to the Supreme Court.
An FIR was lodged against him and six accomplices under various sections of the IPC and The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act at Gautampalli police station by the order of the Supreme Court on 18 February.
The alleged gang rape of the girl’s mother was first committed in October 2014 and was repeated till July 2016. The woman wrote to the state’s police chief in October 2016, after the perpetrators allegedly tried to rape her daughter, seeking action against them.
Known as a Mulayam Singh Yadav loyalist, Prajapati had been sacked by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav in 2016 during the family feud with his father Mulayam and uncle Shivpal Yadav but was later reinstated in the council of ministers.
The CM has had trouble explaining why Prajapati was reinstated. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has questioned the SP government on law and order saying: “There’s a party in UP that sings the Gayatri Prajapati mantra every morning”.
With the police hot on his heels, Prajapati moved the apex court seeking protection from the arrest and a recall of its earlier order.
Prajapti, who is contesting as an SP candidate from Amethi constituency, where polls are over, has denied the charges, terming it a "political conspiracy of the BJP" and said "he did not know the victim".