Minister accused of raping tribal girl
Utpal Parashar
(Guwahati, September 5)

THE KOKRAJHAR police have initiated investigations against Assam's Minister of State for Welfare of Plain Tribes and Backward Classes Rajendra Mushahary following allegations of rape made by a 16-year-old girl from Gossaigaon.

According to the case (No 224/2000) filed by the victim's mother in Gossaigaon police station, the minister had allegedly raped her twice last February. The victim, who is pregnant, also alleges that the minister promised to pay her Rs 25,000 to abort the foetus and keep mum.

Mushahary has denied any involvement in the incident and termed the entire episode to be a "political conspiracy". He stated that he would come out with a statement soon and make his stand clear.

Talking to mediapersons in Kokrajhar on Monday, the victim stated that on February 15 this year, several associates of the minister came to her home and took her away on the pretext of showing her a film at a local theatre. Instead of going to the theatre, the associates took her to a hotel located at Borobisha in West Bengal, where the minister allegedly raped her. According to the victim, the minister forced her to have alcoholic drinks and once she became unconscious, he raped her. When I gained consciousness, I found myself naked and experienced severe pain in my lower abdomen, she stated.

A day after the incident, the minister's associates again visited the victim's residence and asked her to keep mum about the incident. They took me to the same hotel in Borobisha, where the minister kept me confined for hours and repeatedly raped me, the victim said. According to the victim, when she and her mother came to Guwahati to meet the minister, the latter agreed to pay them Rs 25,000 to abort the foetus. Both of them, however, failed to explain why they took such a long time in lodging the case.

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