Former BJP Leader Held For Alleged Rape After A Video Goes Viral

The driver and cleaners of the bus uploaded the video, after recording CCTV footage on their phones.

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A demonstrator holds placards during a protest in New Delhi on December 29, 2012. Image used for representation. 
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Former Maharashtra BJP leader Ravindra Bawanthade was arrested on Monday for allegedly raping his former student, a 19-year-old girl, on a Gadchiroli bus. The incident reportedly occurred on 27 June, and a CCTV video showing 48-year-old Bawanthade kissing the girl is being circulated on the internet.

The driver and the cleaners of the bus have uploaded the video online, after recording it on their phones from the CCTV footage, reported the Times of India. In the video, other leaders are also seen sitting on the bus.

The FIR states that this is the second time that Bawanthade has forced himself upon the victim. She has claimed that the BJP leader had forced himself upon her in his car, on the way to Nagbhid from Nagopur. She also alleged that he promised her a job, and marriage despite being already married. The victim is a former student of Bawanthande.

However, Maharashtra BJP denied that Bawanthade was a party worker.

It is true that Ravindra (Bawanthade) held a position in the party. He was removed four-five months back as he was not attending meetings and wasn’t working.
Ashok Nete, BJP Parliamentarian, told NDTV

The police confirmed that it was Bawanthade in the video, however, the Maharashtra police are still investigating the case.

(With inputs from NDTV, Times of India and MidDay)

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