A special court in Varanasi on Saturday acquitted MP from Bahujan Samaj Atul Rai in the alleged rape case of a 24-year-old woman, who, along with her friend, He died by suicide in front of the Supreme Court in August of last year. The woman had filed a rape case against Al-Rai in 2019. The MP from Gosi, Al-Rai is currently imprisoned in Al-Noaini Prison.
Today (Saturday) Additional District and Session Judge Siyaram Chaurasia has acquitted Atul Rai of the charge of rape. “The court questioned nine prosecution witnesses and some of them did not fully support the prosecution theory,” said government lawyer Jyoti Shankar Obadiyi. He added that the court also questioned 15 defense witnesses. But Upadhyay said the statements of the woman and her friend were recorded before their deaths, which fully supports the claim’s theory.
Rai’s younger brother, Pawan Kumar Singh, told the media that it has now been proven that the MP was falsely implicated by some people in the rape case. “I am asking the state government to crack down on the people who framed my brother,” Singh said.
Atul Rai had run for Parliament on a BSP ticket from inside the prison and emerged victorious. Even after the acquittal in the rape case, Rai lawyer Anuj Yadav told the media that the MP will go on to jail in the pending suicide incitement case in Lucknow.
Upon contact, the victim’s lawyer Rajesh Yadav said that they will appeal against the ruling in the Supreme Court. “We will not let Atul Rai escape so easily,” Rajesh Yadav said.
According to the prosecution, the case dates back to 2018 when the victim filed a police complaint stating that Ray had been sexually harassing her for nearly a year. She claimed that the first incident occurred in 2018 when she visited the MP’s apartment in Varanasi to meet his family members, including his wife.
The woman, a Mao resident and a student at a university in Varanasi, also complained that Rai had recorded the sexual assault and threatened to circulate it on social media if she went to the police. Later, on the complaint filed by the woman, a case was filed against Rai on various charges, including rape and criminal intimidation, in May 2019 in Varanasi. The police also invoked provisions of the Information and Technology Act against him. On June 22, 2019, Al-Rai surrendered before a court, which ordered him to be placed in judicial custody.
On August 16 last year, the woman and her 27-year-old friend first went on air on Facebook and spoke about their plight and then died by suicide from the Supreme Court. The duo also accused the Uttar Pradesh police of supporting Rai.
It further alleged that senior police officers in Uttar Pradesh had not taken action on their complaint. The duo claimed that threats and harassment led them to choose death. They also alleged that retired Prison Service officer Amitabh Thakur aided and harassed Rai.
Later, Uttar Pradesh Police booked Rai and Thakur for incitement to suicide. A case was filed against Rai and Thakur at Hazratganj Police Station in Lucknow. The Union Home Affairs Ministry forced Thakur to retire in March last year “in the public interest”.