Bihar & Jharkhand office of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes has issued orders to arrest Brajesh Kumar Pandey – the former Vice President of Bihar Congress and brother of NDTV journalist Ravish Kumar – who has been accused of sexual exploitation by a girl belonging to the Dalit community.
The girl was minor when the crime is alleged to have taken place in Patna. She had accused a businessman named Nikhil Priyadarshi of sexually exploiting and blackmailing her last year in December. She also accused Nikhil of running a sex racket and made Brajesh Kumar a co-accused in the case. She filed yet another case against the two after they made her identity public and started questioning her character and motives. She claimed to have received death threats too after she went public with her charges.
On Wednesday, National Commission for Scheduled Caste wrote a letter to the Inspector General of Police (Weaker Section) CID Bihar, and asked for immediate arrest of Brajesh Kumar and framing charges against him. Brajesh Kumar has been absconding after the victim took his name and accused him of being an accomplice of Nikhil and sexually exploiting her after mixing sedatives in her drink.
Commission found Brajesh prima facie guilty of these charges and has asked police to arrest him within 15 days and submit a report about the same. The commission has also ordered rehabilitation and compensation for the victim, as per latest reports.
As we had reported earlier, this sex racket is believed to be sensitive as it involves high profile people from Bihar politics and administration. The main accused Nikhil himself is son of a former IAS officer while one of the alleged victims who committed suicide was reported to be daughter of a bureaucrat.
Even the current complainant is daughter of a former state minister and Congress leader. Despite being belonging to a high profile family, she claimed that the police was not registering FIRs against the well-connected accused. There have been reports about political pressure in the case, especially about going slow on Brajesh Kumar, because he is brother of an influential journalist (Ravish Kumar of NDTV India).
Nikhil Priyadarshi and his father were finally arrested last month, but Brajesh Kumar is still on the run. Some reports indicate that he is hiding in Delhi. Nikhil is reported to have accepted that he and Brajesh were friends and both of them knew the victim, though he is denying charges of sexual exploitation and running a sex racket.
Nikhil and his father are currently lodged in Patna’s Beur Jail after courts rejected their bail applications on more than one occasion. Now it remains to be seen if police can finally arrest Brajesh Kumar after the National Commission for Scheduled Caste has asked them to do so.