Almost a month has passed since Brajesh Kumar Pandey – the former Vice President of Bihar unit of the Congress party and brother of NDTV journalist Ravish Kumar – was accused by a dalit girl of sexually exploiting her when she was a minor. While a case has been filed and investigations are on, Brajesh Kumar is still absconding and off limits for the Bihar police.
The girl, who happens to be the daughter of a Congress leader as well, had named a businessman Nikhil Priyadarshi as the main culprit, while naming Brajesh Kumar and others as his accomplices. Nikhil was arrested last week by Uttarakhand police and was brought to Patna, where he is now in police custody along with his father.
The girl had complained that Nikhil and his associates ran a sex racket that trapped unsuspecting girls, including those from well to do families. These girls were sexually exploited by the gang and used for earning illicit money. Daughter of an IAS officer was reported to have committed suicide after becoming a victim of this racket.
Later, there were reports that political pressure was mounting to bury this sex scandal as it might involve many high-profile names in politics and administration. Reports claimed that pressure was especially put to let go Brajesh Kumar, as his brother Ravish Kumar was a renowned journalist enjoying media clout.
BJP leader and former Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar, Sushil Kumar Modi has now demanded to know why Brajesh Kumar was still not arrested. He has alleged that the Bihar Police was giving Brajesh Kumar a long rope and waiting for him to get bail from courts, so that they don’t have to arrest him and interrogate him under custody.
Sushil Kumar Modi highlighted the fact that the police gave even Nikhil Priyadarshi a long rope and he was arrested almost three months after the girl filed the case, that too outside Bihar when courts rejected his bail applications.
Reports indicate that Uttarakhand police chanced upon Nikhil and his father while a routine checking and ended up arresting them. Even in Uttarakhand while on the run, Nikhil was reportedly planning to trap a girl. Both of them were brought to Bihar and now are lodged in Beur Jail in Patna. Nikhil’s father is a retired IAS officer.
While Nikhil is maintaining that he is innocent, an earlier report claims that Nikhil had threatened to “expose” many politicians and officers by uploading their “objectionable videos” on YouTube if he is troubled.
Local media reports had earlier compared this sex scandal to one “Bobby sex scandal” of 1980s that rocked state politics, as it involved many high profile people from Bihar politics and administration. That scandal was buried and one leader was reported as saying that the current scandal too should be buried to save democracy.
It needs to be seen if Nikhil spills the beans about the whole affair and if investigations into the case remain free from political pressure. Earlier reports about the complainant girl being harassed and Ravish Kumar’s brother still being out of bounds for Bihar police hint that some pressure might be at play.